Film banning a 'half-past six' decision

Hamdan Ibrahim

Modified 29 Jan 2008, 10:21 am

I share the sentiment of those who cannot understand why the Home Ministry has banned the film 'Lelaki Komunist Terakhir' at the last minute due to certain pressure. For god's sake, it is just a normal film, which doesn't glorify the old warrior. Why does the government see a conspiracy theory every time we don't agree with other people's works of art? We shouldn't be too paranoid.

We should let the public judge the film with an open mind and the government should not use its discretionary power to decide what is good or bad for the public to see. The young director, Amir Muhammad, had spent a lot of money and time to produce the film, which has already been vetted by our Censorship Board. Even the Special Branch had no objections to the film to be screened in public.

One man's communist is another man's freedom fighter and Chin Peng is part of our history, which cannot be erased by banning a film. While I don't want to sanitise the communist ideology, we must understand our history in order for our young generation to understand our past and to appreciate our future.

Yes, the communist party lead by Chin Peng had done a lot of damage, and innocent people and soldiers were maimed and killed during the long guerrilla war in the early 50s till the mid 70s but all is fair in love and war. We should be proud that we are the only nation that has manage to win the war with communists, not through battle alone but most importantly by wining the hearts and minds of the people to abandon their communist struggle.

Funny how people can judge the film as controversial without even watching it. The home minister's patronising attitude in banning the film due to his party having their 60th anniversary bash doesn't speak well of our nation being a first-class nation with a matured society who can think for themselves.

I wonder if there is an element of truth in our former premier assertion that we are 'a half-past six nation' if a simple film can invoke a lot of controversy in this country.