Tanda Putera – Height of criminal and anti-national irresponsibility for anyone to concoct the spurious urination incident as one of the purported causes provoking May 13, 1969 riots

It is the height of criminal and anti-national irresponsibility for anyone to concoct the spurious urination incident as one of the purported causes provoking the May 13, 1969 riots, especially in a film funded with taxpayers’ money, when it is completely fictional with no factual basis in any historical material, whether documentation or photographic.

This is because such a spurious and fictitious incident depicting a young Chinese man urinating in front of the Selangor Mentri Besar’s official residence provoking the May 13, 1969 riots, is highly incendiary and inflammatory in a plural society like Malaysia, and could gravely undermine and threaten inter-racial relations and harmony and even inflame and incite inter-racial hatred and conflict completely inimical to nation-building efforts to promote inter-racial peace, goodwill and harmony.

No excuse of “creative licence” could justify such an irresponsible, criminal and anti-national act.

Although Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba, director of the movie “Tanda Putra”, has admitted that the film is a fictional account of events surrounding the May 13 racial riots, she must specifically admit that the “urination” episode in front of the Selangor Mentri Besar’s official residence as one of the causes of provocation of the May 13, 1969 racial riots is a complete figment of her imagination and that no definition of “creative licence” could justify such irresponsible, incendiary and anti-national act.

Shuhaimi who prides herself as “the original founder of horror films” after directing a Pontianak film must not regard “Tanda Putra” as belonging to the genre of “ghost films” she had directed in the past, giving her total “creative licence” to create any fictitious scenes that caught her fancy, totally reckless about their adverse consequences on inter-racial relations in the country.

Shuhaimi has said that it was I myself who took offence at the urination scene and felt that the scene depicted me.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

I was in Sabah on July 20 last year on a three-day visit with DAP MP for Segambut Lim Lip Eng when Malaysiakini reported on the “Tanda Putera” film, which stated:

One apparent scene was that of DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang purportedly urinating on a flagpole in front of the then-Selangor menteri besar’s residence.

“Lim Kit Siang telah kencing di bawah tiang bendera Selangor yang terpacak di rumah menteri besar Selangor ketika itu, Harun Idris, (Lim Kit Siang had urinated at the foot of the flagpole bearing the Selangor flag at the then Selangor MB’s Harun Idris’ house)” read the caption of a photo of the actor portraying Lim being manhandled.

The photo was posted in the album titled ‘Peristiwa-peristiwa yang dimuatkan di dalam filem ini’ (Events depicted in this movie).

However, the photo and caption has since been removed from the movie’s official page, though Malaysiakini had captured a screenshot of the earlier posting.

Those in the industry who have watched the movie in a special preview on Wednesday to focus groups also said that no urinating scene was included in the preview cut.

There was also no mention of the scene in the movie’s script, a copy of which was obtained by Malaysiakini.

I issued an immediate rebuttal in Sabah reiterating that I was never in Kuala Lumpur on May 11, 12 and 13 of 1969 and that the photograph used in the movie’s earlier Facebook was not a photograph taken in 1969 but from a different incident in Sabah 15 years later in 1984.

An eye-witness, Ahmad Habib, who was then a second year undergraduate student at Institut Teknologi Mara (ITM) and was at the Selangor Mentri Besar’s residence during the May 13, 1969 riots, has said that such an “urination” incident was impossible as the flagpole was inside a heavily-guarded compound of the Selangor Mentri Besar.

It is a mystery why the “urination” episode is so central to Shuhaimi’s “Tanda Putera” movie although it has no factual basis whatsoever.

Shuhaimi has said that the movie “Tanda Putra” showed the friendship between two leaders, then prime minister Tun Abdul Razak and his deputy, Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, and how they faced the challenge of developing the country while battling racial tensions and their health problems.

I have not seen the movie and am therefore in no position to make any comments.

It would however be very sad and pathetic if Shuhaimi’s latest film is remembered as the “urination” film because of the irresponsible and criminal lie about the fictitious “urination” episode which has overshadowed the rest of the film and subject-matter.

  1. #1 by worldpress on Sunday, 25 August 2013 - 6:49 pm

    Without those hardworking chinese, india, and other races, this country consider gone have sold to foreigners with just those bunch lazy bone waiting money drop from the sky.

  2. #2 by boh-liao on Sunday, 25 August 2013 - 7:11 pm

    D Tandas director should b charged under d sedition act 4 spreading malicious lies 2 try 2 incite racial hatred n riots

  3. #3 by omeqiu on Sunday, 25 August 2013 - 7:18 pm

    Free advertisement for this “fictional” movie. Easy, just don’t see it.

  4. #4 by yhsiew on Sunday, 25 August 2013 - 7:22 pm

    Shuhaimi’s action of depicting a young Chinese man in her film urinating in front of the Selangor Mentri Besar’s official residence is NO DIFFERENT from that of sex blogger duo Alvin Tan and Vivien Lee who provoked the Muslim community lately. If the sex blogger duo is punished, I see no reason why Shuhaimi is not punished. The politics of selective impunity is ruining our legal justice system.

  5. #5 by sheriff singh on Sunday, 25 August 2013 - 7:44 pm

    This raises further questions:

    What else in the film is false and not to be believed?

    Has historical events throughout the movie been sanitised and given the necessary ‘bent’ to glorify certain personalities? Were the dialogues of the major players real or fabricated ?

    What were the sources of information that the director and producers used in the movie ?

    Why did the government dish out RM 5 million for a fictional movie ?

  6. #6 by bennylohstocks on Sunday, 25 August 2013 - 7:48 pm

  7. #7 by sheriff singh on Sunday, 25 August 2013 - 7:51 pm

    ‘Urination film’?

    Let us hope that there are no urinating in the theatres during the screenings.

  8. #8 by Bigjoe on Sunday, 25 August 2013 - 8:33 pm

    What is so surprising about Tanda Putera malicious fiction? The father of malicious politics in Malaysia is STILL at it as we are discussing, what is nothing film format that is just more sensational.

    What is more important is TO STOP the vicious design that founder of such things are still working on accumulating the largest private wealth ON OUR BACKS and eventually to install a dynasty to cement his legacy and completely scott-free from accounting for his misdeed which we are feeling from such work as Tanda Putera..

    All these are nothing – its UMNO/BN that must fall to even start to change anything..

  9. #9 by sheriff singh on Sunday, 25 August 2013 - 11:51 pm

    However, the government accepts and condone the film as accurate that it sponsored thousands of people (Felda, university students etc.) for private viewings.

    Has any one in government come out to say the film is a fiction ?

  10. #10 by Noble House on Monday, 26 August 2013 - 2:20 am

    There must be something original and unique about Mongolia that makes her so irresistible to Malaysians and, in particular, our Prime Minister. See for yourself here:


    Can we say the same for ‘Tanda Putera?’

  11. #11 by M. Vivekananda on Monday, 26 August 2013 - 2:58 am

    If Lim Kit Siang or any young Chinese male was the person who urinated at the flag pole, why was this incident not reported by any of the national newspapers (NST, The Star, Berita Harian and Utusan Malaysia) at that time? Why was nobody charged in court all these years? If indeed it was Lim Kit Siang, why was his citizenship not revoked? Why was he not barred from politics or not allowed to stand in the subsequent General Elections?
    TDM was Prime Minister from 1981 till 2002 and among the additional portfolios he held was as Home Minister. Why was no action initiated during his tenure when he had the power to do so to investigate this purported urinating incident and charge the perpetrator in court and revoke his citizenship?
    The motive in making and screening this film is pernicious and despicable and is meant to wrongly influence the younger generation who were either too young to know what happened or not even born in 1969.
    There shoud be a Truth Commission established to ascertain and document what really happened since many of those who lived through that dark period of the history of this nation are still around.
    Screening Tanda Putera is indicative that there are people who wield power with very sinister motives and runs counter to PM Najib’s call for national reconciliation post GE13.

  12. #12 by Jeffrey on Monday, 26 August 2013 - 7:22 am

    That’s why we have “Endless Possibilities”. Which includes the creative license at the creator’s unfettered discretion to omit details, add new ones and in other cases oversimplify facts to the point of creating fiction and distorting facts – all in the name of Art & Drama – in service of the political cause of the Ruling Party. Where got such a thing anymore as “criminal and anti-national irresponsibility” ? It is a national and almost sacred responsibility to help those in power. We already see this in some guru of journalism saying that journalistic ethics can accommodate the creative license to skew facts for political objectives. How else voting in ballot against ruling coalition can represent “betrayal” or an attempt by certain community to seize political power??

  13. #13 by Jeffrey on Monday, 26 August 2013 - 7:30 am

    If this ‘creative license’ in journalism is permissible why not extend its application to the field of Art & Drama and popular films? It’s a logical extension. Objection that it is seditious to flame inter communities’ disharmony is no more relevant since GE 13 when it was found that to actually do so helped the ruling party to cling to power. So every hanger on and party apparatchik wishing to have a political ambition or a financial future is now inspired by this implicit unspoken and unacknowledged reprieve from having to account or face action from authorities if they apply their creative license to serve the ends of the communal ideology of the ruling party. Branding & definition of what constitutes sedition also depend on which sector of communities is argued “angered” or “insulted”. The moderate voice has become “extreme” and vice versa – that’s Endless Possibilities. Going Down all the way is also very possible. Why do you think Fitch rates us down post GE13?

  14. #14 by boh-liao on Monday, 26 August 2013 - 8:17 am

    While dis Tandas film has attracted our attention, our Ringgit is heading south towards another tandas, cesspool
    Visit Yahoo Finance n search “malaysian ringgit”
    Another financial crisis on d horizon? Beware, time 2 convert our RM 2 another more stable n valuable currency
    All thanks 2 our UmnoB gomen, tandas

  15. #15 by lee tai king (previously dagen) on Monday, 26 August 2013 - 2:25 pm


    You mean it was a fiction??!!

    But but but apa nama and and jib went gaga over the movie.

    Private screening.

    This and that.

    In felda and elsewhere.

    I mean the entire umno was in orgy – massive time orgy.

    And now you are telling us it was merely fictional?


  16. #16 by tuahpekkong on Monday, 26 August 2013 - 6:19 pm

    With racial sentiment so highly charged at that time, I wonder if any ethnic Chinese would dare to go near to the Selangor Menteri Besar’s official residence, let alone urinate at a flag pole inside his residence. Did the film mention what the crowd gathered inside the MB’s residence do to this young Chinese man?

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