KUALA LUMPUR: Stressing the need for racial unity, veteran politician Lim Kit Siang welcomed the move by Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak to order for a scene in the movie “Malay Regiment” to be taken out.
The DAP parliamentary leader said the scene depicted a bespectacled Chinese man, standing next to a car with the registration number “DAP165”.
He said: “The man holds a 2005 satirical book by André de Guillaume entitled ‘How to Rule the World: A Handbook for the Aspiring Dictator’, while a voice-over in Chinese says ‘We don’t need war. We just need to use our brains to rule the economy’.
“The significance of such a registration number being arranged so close together to form a word that is disparaging towards DAP is only known to the director cum producer of the film. So is the significance of portraying a Chinese man, instead of some other race.”
He claimed the film’s producer, Jurey Latiff Rosli, had said at a press conference in May last year that he was an avid supporter of Barisan Nasional (BN), providing a link to the report that had quoted Jurey.
The Gelang Patah MP said a pattern was emerging, adding that in 2012, just before the 13th general election, there was a scene in the movie “Tanda Putera” where “I was apparently made a target alongside a narrative of how I had urinated at the flag pole in the compound of the menteri besar of Selangor’s residence, during the days leading up to the riots of May 13, 1969.”
He said he had explained that he was not in the country at that time and had not taken part in any of the rallies then. If he had, he said, the Special Branch would have picked him up, but it didn’t.
Lim said he and DAP had become a target after the 2008 general election, when the opposition victory led to BN losing its two-thirds majority in Parliament.
“After the tsunami of March 8, 2008, DAP and I were repackaged as a new target to complete a new narrative of how the Chinese and DAP were the bad guys in the single most dark episode in the history of our nation.”
Now, he said, as part of efforts of “the powers that be” to frame DAP as the culprit behind racial tensions since 1969, a new “bogey” had been created in the form of the “Malay Regiment” trailer.
On Salleh’s action to have the scene removed, Lim said: “I welcome the step taken by Salleh. A film funded by the national coffers with the objective to instil patriotism in the hearts and minds of the young, should not be misused as a political tool to breed hate and contempt towards parties seeking betterment of the nation for all regardless of race, religion and region.
“Creative licence does not justify any means to plant the seeds of racial contempt and prejudice towards one another belonging to the same land.”
In contrast, he said a film like “Ola Bola” was a good example of an effort to stoke the spirit of patriotism during the month of August, without having to resort to any display of war and blood to educate a nation on what it meant to love the country.
He went on to say: “If war is the theme of the market, then how about taking a leaf out of P Ramlee’s books from a film like ‘Sarjan Hassan’, with the memorable speech at the end saying: ‘Memang bangsa kita masih muda dan masih lemah. Harapanku hanyalah, kita sama sebangsa, bersatu padulah hendaknya’ (Our nation is young and still weak. My hope is that we work together in solidarity.)”
Lim said on the verge of the 60th National Day, the people must stay united and level-headed in order to see the bigger picture of rescuing Malaysia from accelerating towards becoming a failed state.
“Let us not be remembered as the generation that brought down Malaysia with hatred and prejudice towards one another,” he added.