Archive for August 24th, 2013

Director admits Tanda Putera a work of fiction, defends controversial scenes

by Hasbullah Awang Chik
The Malaysian Insider
August 24, 2013

The director of the controversial film Tanda Putera, which has upset the opposition, now admits it is a fictional account of events surrounding the May 13 racial riots.

Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba said her film is an interpretation of historical events derived from multiple opinions.

She explained that after certain parties strongly objected to a scene where a character urinated at a flagpole in front of the house of a former Selangor menteri besar, she edited the scene to tone it down.

“I made some slight edits of the scene. There were words that I removed. That scene was acted out according to those who were present at that time.

“I had to make sure I could fit in most of the opinions collected into a two-hour movie. Of course, not all of the responses we got could be enacted in the film.

“It is tough for me to throw away scenes that are called sensitive. If I have to follow the opinions of everyone then the first 20 minutes of the film depicting incidents of 13 May would not even be there. So I have to defend my work,” she told The Malaysian Insider today.

Suhaimi’s admission that the film is a fictional account of events is a comedown from her stand at the film’s premiere this week where she asked the public to give the film a chance since it is about the nation’s history based on “true stories”. Read the rest of this entry »


Will Najib have to abort his new branding slogan of “Endless Possibilities” after it is mired in double-barrelled Israeli and Mongolian controversies some three weeks before official launch?

Even before the official launch of his new campaign to replace his earlier lame-duck “1Malaysia” slogan, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has to grapple with the headache whether his new “Endless Possibilities” campaign should be aborted some three weeks before launch as it is mired in a double-barrelled Israeli and Mongolian controversies.

On the Israeli knot, the Prime Minister’s Office has officially responded to The Malaysian Insider reports declaring that the new “Endless Possibilities” campaign is not lifted from an Israeli campaign idea, claiming that Putrajaya had launched the campaign globally in January before Israel launched its version.

This is a revisit of the earlier 1Malaysia slogan which faced the charge that it was a copy of the 1Israel campaign.

Before the dust could settle on the controversy of the Israeli link of the “Endless Possibilities” slogan, it is now mired in a second controversy involving of all countries Mongolia. Read the rest of this entry »


Airy-fairy Slogan May Suit Najib Well

By Kee Thuan Chye
Yahoo! News
22nd August 2013

I’ve said before that Najib Razak is a prime minister who does things by halves. Now there’s talk that he’s going to junk his ‘1Malaysia’ slogan for a new one. Online news website The Malaysian Insider reported this on August 21, based on information from sources. If it turns out to be true, I’ll be able to say that Najib is also a prime minister who doesn’t see things through.

A brand needs time to be developed. Najib’s ‘1Malaysia’ has been around for only four years, and that’s not long enough to win it acceptance and pulling power. Work has to be done to imbue it with more substance – work that includes making Malaysia a truly inclusive nation, which wholeheartedly embraces all its races, religions, cultures, languages without placing any above the rest – so that in the longer run, it can come to be trusted. If Najib discards it for a new slogan, it would show that he’s not willing to put in the work; he has no staying power.

And what might that new slogan be? How more potent will it appear? How more meaningful? If you haven’t heard it yet, hold on to your seats. Just in case you fall off laughing. Or faint. It’s called “Endless Possibilities”! Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia’s Najib Weakens

Written by Our Correspondent
Asia Sentinel
Thursday, 22 August 2013

KL sources say he’ll remain as PM, but as a “lackey” of former PM Mahathir

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak appears to be under increasing pressure from inside his own party and under blistering attack by bloggers allied with former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad — one of whom compared him to a flattened bug on a windshield.

Najib saw his ruling coalition lose the popular vote in May national elections, garnering only 47.38 percent of the vote against 50.87 for the three-party opposition Pakatan Rakyat led by Anwar Ibrahim. The Barisan, however, managed to maintain its 56-year hold on parliament by a 133-89 seat margin because of gerrymandering.

Since the election, Najib has faced a drumfire of criticism from within the United Malays National Organization over his strategy to attempt to reach out against the country’s minority Chinese and Indian races. Because UMNO raised the number of seats it won while its component Indian and Chinese parties went down the tubes, the party more and more appears to be in the hands of Mahathir and his allies, particularly former Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin, who advocated a strident Malay nationalism strategy to lure ethnic Malays, who make up 60.1 percent of the population, to the polls.

A quiet approach to Anwar to seek to set up a unity government after the election was batted back by the opposition leader, ostensibly because Najib wouldn’t rein in the strident racists in his party, but probably actually because Anwar wasn’t really interested in playing no. 2 to Naib in any political scenario.

Publication of Najib’s vain attempt to reach across the aisle to the opposition is considered to have weakened the prime minister further, partly because of Mahathir’s implacable enmity against Anwar. And while the 88-year-old Mahathir has remained silent, Mahathir-aligned blogs, including “outsyed the box” and one maintained by former information Minister Zainuddin Maidin have stepped up their attacks on Najib in recent days. Read the rest of this entry »