Koh defends private screenings of Tanda Putera

by Koh Jun Lin
Mar 28, 2013

Private screenings of the controversial film on the May 13, 1969 racial riots, Tanda Putera are allowed because the cabinet decision to postpone its screening is restricted to public screenings only.

“There have been some private screenings for people to make some judgments and decisions.

“As long as there is no public screening, for that is the decision that was made by the cabinet,” Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Koh Tsu Koon said today.

Asked why was this allowed despite charges that the film was racially divisive, the de facto unity minister questioned such a charge.

“I don’t know how many screenings there have been, but has it led to racial strife? I don’t know. You better check the facts before reporting on that,” Koh told reporters.

Information Minister Rais Yatim had previously said that Tanda Putera’s premier has been deferred because of ‘inappropriate’ scenes in the film.

‘For the people’s benefit’

“The cabinet has decided for the benefit of the people, that the official premiere of the film be postponed as it contains scenes that may cause conflicts.

“This is because it shows the tragedy of May 13 which is disputed by various parties,” he said in November last year.

Koh, who was fielding questions at a press conference today, also announced that Malaysia has won the third place in the World Interfaith Harmony Week 2013 competition organised by the Jordan-based Royal Aal Al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought.

The Department of National Unity and Integration would be awarded with a bronze medal and US$5,000 at a ceremony in Jordan on April 25.

Malaysia had marked the celebration with a series of events from Feb 1 to Feb 8, including one where Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak toured five places of worship in Brickfields on Feb 2.

Koh added that the people should not engage with religious extremists who are at the fringes. Instead, the best policy was to simply ignore them and focus on efforts to foster harmony with those in the mainstream.

“Very often, people want to be heroes and utter certain statements. If you engage with them, there is more opportunity for them to say more and more,” he said.

On other issues, Koh, who is also Gerakan president, declined to comment on Malay rights pressure group Perkasa’s threat not to support his party’s candidates.

“Let (Penang BN chief) Teng Chang Yeow deal with it, there is no need for me to issue a statement on this. To us, it is just a small matter and Teng has stated his stance on the issue clearly,” Koh said.

Perkasa is irate about Teng’s statement that he would not have attended the group’s event at Speaker’s Square, Penang, had he known earlier that Perkasa was involved in it.

  1. #1 by yhsiew on Friday, 29 March 2013 - 7:00 am

    So private screening of porn films is allowed???

  2. #2 by monsterball on Friday, 29 March 2013 - 7:41 am

    KTK want to speak something and make a fool of himself.
    He is totally useless….a shameless shoe shine boy to Mahathir for 18 years.
    Penang voters…. have spoken at 12th GE..to him..loud and clear….yet he feels not one bit of shame.

  3. #3 by monsterball on Friday, 29 March 2013 - 7:45 am

    KTK can talk till the cows come home.
    He is a typical thick skin ….low class politician…shaming Malaysian Chinese…year in..year out.
    Voted out…and needs Najib to help him.
    What kind of a creature is he?

  4. #4 by rahmanwang on Friday, 29 March 2013 - 8:30 am

    Is there any private screening of Viagra Chua “movie” for BN component parties? Legal ?
    Perkasa supported by Mahathir said Cina & Indian pendatang.
    Koh bin Tsu Koon, what is your view on this ?

  5. #5 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Friday, 29 March 2013 - 9:01 am

    Sukun bin koh looks like chinese and speak like chinese. But he really is an umnoputra.

  6. #6 by balance88 on Friday, 29 March 2013 - 9:47 am

    Malaysia is in such a mess politically and socially is because of people like Koh. Such a film if produced in a biased manner is divisive and you don’t wait for a racial strife so conclude that it is divisive.. Racial tensions and issues are just like corruption. They are cancerous and have to be nipped in the bud.

    Silence and no racial strife does not mean everything is alright because pent up anger over a period of time can just boil over with the slightest trigger of event. Then when racial riots starts, it can spread like wild fire and extremely difficult to control. So, Mr Koh, please talk sense and be sensible AND stop testing the rakyat’s intelligence.

    The govt should put religious extremists in their place by stating the stand of the govt on those religious issues raised by these people. Silence means the govt supports what they are doing. On the contrary, the govt should engage extremist in order that matters do not get out of control. Extremely bad attempt by Koh to engineer excuses to justify their actions.

    Getting 3rd in an interfaith harmony competition means nothing. The people must feel the inter-faith harmony and people must tolerate, respect and appreciate each others religion. People who criticize the religion of others should stop claiming they are defending their own religion because no religion in the world teaches you to commit such acts. And it also reflects how much you yourself knows about your own religion, i.e Nothing.

    Even commentators on blog sites should respect the religion of others.

  7. #7 by john on Friday, 29 March 2013 - 10:20 am

    If Gerak-kan Ah Pei still around he would give his Lembik Bumno-Macai a real real saliva spitting tongue lashing and “F” him upside down, inside out until he crawls into ONE dung Hole and shut-the-F-up ! Still talking TOKOK, this spineless AR*Ehole Bumno another “bola” polisher, carrier .

  8. #8 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Friday, 29 March 2013 - 10:40 am

    tsu koon has lost the last shred of respect from ordinary man on the street.

    Sorry, poor chap.

    You couldn’t do much as CM, now you show you are just as inept as Minister.

    Good thing you are being sent off to pasture. As they say, good riddance to rubbish dressed up like nice cabbage but rotten in the inside.

  9. #9 by SENGLANG on Friday, 29 March 2013 - 11:09 am

    If I were KSK, i will call a press conference to condemn the private viewing. I will tell the cabinet in no uncertain term that since cabinet has agreed the film is not suitable for public viewing it is also the same for private viewing.

    One reason that Penangites have lost confident in KSK was his softie manner in handling issue like this. Instead to be the voice of the people he choice to on the fence singing singing philosophical tune. He is best to retire completely from political instead of be a back room boy.

  10. #10 by john on Friday, 29 March 2013 - 11:29 am

    Heh, we seen enough of Sandiwara from your master’s master MAMAK & Co. to be able to see through through even the most sophisticated ones , not to say Teng your mediocre ones with Perkasa here ! Young chiku go back 2008 and go through what you said then, such HIPOCRITE, another of their same kind/DNA make-up.

  11. #11 by yhsiew on Friday, 29 March 2013 - 1:19 pm

    He is a true blue BN sycophant.

  12. #12 by cseng on Friday, 29 March 2013 - 6:19 pm

    KTK, minister of elephant, in charge of defining how an elephant looks like.

    He probably tells you, an elephant looks like a tree trunk.

    Since, he would define an elephant like a tree trunk, ask him about ‘Tanda Putra’ is way beyond his mental capability. I would rather ask chengho than this minister of elephant.

  13. #13 by chengho on Friday, 29 March 2013 - 11:58 pm

    freedom of expression

  14. #14 by monsterball on Saturday, 30 March 2013 - 3:42 am

    sure is….continue.

  15. #15 by on cheng on Saturday, 30 March 2013 - 3:02 pm

    anjing tetap anjing, mau jadi apa pula ?

  16. #16 by on cheng on Saturday, 30 March 2013 - 3:13 pm

    that man is trying to convince others he is a real dog to XXX…….

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