From Berita Harian, 3 May
By Norfatimah Ahmad, Jalal Ali Abdul Rahim, Masrina Mohd Yunos and Adha Ghazali
Berita Harian. 3 May
KUALA LUMPUR: The decision of the Malaysian Film Censorship Board (LPF) to allow the screening of the documentary Lelaki Komunis Terakhir which talks about the life of the former head of the Communist Party of Malaya, Chin Peng, is described as not appropriate.
Various people who were contacted for reactions concerning the issue criticised the LPF's action because it it seen as insensitive to the people of this country especially the victims and families who suffered atrocities committed by the communists.
The head of Puteri Umno, Datuk Noraini Ahmad said the LPF's action is not appropriate as it is not right for anyone to glorify the communist leader when the country has much more credible people that we can learn from.
She said, the issue relating to the production of this documentary and whether it was appropriate to be approved by the authorities was discussed earlier but did not continue because it was thought that the film would never become a reality.
History figure, Professor Emeritus Datuk Khoo Kay Kim said the LPF should not have been hasty in giving approval for the documentary but should have consulted experts especially about the potential effects of screening it to the public.
"Before passing it, let experts view it first. In this case I think the LPF doesn't really understand if we were to ask them to explain communism and the history of the Emergency."
"The cruelty of the communists caused suffering to the public and security forces. Screening it will only make them feel uneasy," he said when asked to comment on the LPF's decision to allow the documentary by Amir Muhammad to screen in cinemas from 18 May.
However the documentary was passed for only three screens operated by Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) namely Mid Valley and One Utama, Kuala Lumpur; and Gurney Plaza in Penang.
UMNO veteran. Tan Sri Aziz Tapa said the documentary should have been banned from screening because hatred towards Chin Peng is very deeply felt especially by the victims of the Communist Party's cruelty and although the wounds have disappeared, the scars remain.
"Just mention Chin Peng and people will get angry. The screening will cause this anger to resurface especially among families of victims and we are worried 'old wounds will bleed again'" he said and also suggests that the approval might have been made by a young LPF officer who is too eager for 'democracy' without realising the effects.
Another UMNO veteran, Tan Sri Zaleha Ismail said she opposes strongly the screening of the documentary because it will only hurt the feelings of those who suffered atrocities committed by communists.
Meanwhile, the Director of the National Internal Security and Public Safety Department, Datuk Mustafa Abdullah said he is unsure about the approval status of the screening of the documentary.
He said that until now, his department had not received any information about the making or screening of the film but is certain the Special Branch unit of Police Headquarters knows about it.
"Whatever it is, I am sure there is a reason for the approval given by LPF for the documentary to be screened," he said and refused further comment.
The President of the Former Armed Servicemen Association of Malaysia, Datuk Mohamad Ghani said that the LPF's decision could anger all army personnel especially those who fought against the communists.
"This film seemingly belittles our struggle in the security forces to fight communists but during that time, more than 11,000 policemen, soldiers and civilians were killed."
*Translated from the original Malay.