|Tuesday, 23 October 2012 14:46|
Deputy minister Senator Datuk Maglin Dennis D’Cruz said part of the plot in Tanda Putera, which features the May 13, 1969 racial riots, need to be viewed from an academic perspective. KUALA LUMPUR: The Information, Communication and Culture Ministry has appealed for calm and said until the film Tanda Putera is screened, it is too early to start labelling it as having negative racial overtones.
"The ministry is of the opinion that with the growing maturity of the younger generation, historical films need to be portrayed in an effective and realistic manner, even if it touches on the May 13 incident.
"We want to show that political figures of old had loved the country. The film tells of the friendship between two national icons, Malaysia's second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak and his deputy, Tun Dr Ismail," he said in response to a query by Kelana Jaya MP Loh Gwo Burne.
Loh had asked the ministry to state how Finas could fund a film like Tanda Putera, which he claimed raised the spectre of the May 13 riots.
The ministry, via Finas, had issued grants for films and documentaries which focus on nationalism and heritage. The purpose of the grant was to enable such films to compete with entertaining and commercial films which do not carry any educational value.
In 2010, RM5 million was allocated towards the production of nationalistic and heritage-based films.
Tanda Putera had come in for heavy criticism, notably by members of the Opposition for its allegedly negative portrayal of other races in scenes depicting the May 13 riots.
DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang had also taken the film to task for allegedly portraying him in negative light in the film.
The film's director, Datuk Shuhaimi Baba, had lashed out at critics for slamming the film before even viewing it, and dismissed Lim's claims, explaining that there was no such character in the movie. She had argued that the fim crew had done extensive research on the subject matter before embarking on the project.
Actor Zizan Nin, who played the role of Tun Dr Ismail in the movie, even claimed that he was subjected to abuse on his Twitter account for taking on the role. He claimed that he was labelled a "government dog" for his decision.