KUALA LUMPUR: The education ministry should not be inviting students to watch a biopic film about Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, says an opposition MP.
Indera Mahkota MP Saifuddin Abdullah also questioned whether the students were invited to the screening of “Anwar: The Untold Story” because they are of voting age.
“If so, then the film’s screening is a political campaign,” said the Bersatu MP.
Saifuddin said while it is not wrong for ministries to invite students for film screenings, it was not appropriate for a “propaganda film like this”.
He was responding to news that Form Six students from SMK Putrajaya Presint 5 were invited to a screening of the biopic at a cinema on Tuesday night.
The invitation was extended by the office of education minister Fadhlina Sidek, who was among those who attended the screening at a mall in Putrajaya.
The school’s Form Six senior assistant, Suziyah Selamat, said students were not forced to attend the screening.
She also said the content of the film, which was released on May 18, was relevant to the Form Six curriculum as it touches on the issues of corruption and governance.
Set between 1993 and 1998, the film depicts Anwar’s time as deputy prime minister and finance minister, his opposition to corruption and his imprisonment.
Saifuddin also asked whether screenings were being held for students as the film was not doing well in cinemas.
Last week, the film’s distributor, DMY Creation, claimed that certain cinemas had refused to screen the film, causing sales to fall short of the target.
Saifuddin also questioned why the community communications department (J-Kom) held a programme with Form Six students from three schools at SMK Baling Kedah in March.
“Is the government using students to disseminate ‘cheap propaganda’?
“Perikatan Nasional had suggested that the education system needs to be reformed, but it seems like this government is using education as a political indoctrination (tool),” he said.