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The Sleeping Dictionary an insult to Iban

I watched in disgust the movie 'The Sleeping Dictionary' aired recently via Astro Channel. The movie depicted a young Englishman who served in Sarawak during the colonial days. The movie was full of erroneous facts, which put total disgrace to the Iban community in Sarawak. Firstly, the movie implies that Iban women are of loose moral and would readily bed the whiteman.

In one of the movie's dialogue, the actor (played by Bob Hoskin) says that Ibans are by nature alcoholic, aggressive and without morals. Any right thinking Iban would have protested violently to this insulting movie plot as it degrades and dehumanises the Iban community and paints a dark picture of our people to the rest of world.

Let me put the record straight the Iban may be poor, backward and lagged behind in terms of social and economic development. However, poor as we are, the Iban don't deserve to be humiliated the way the movie has depicted. The plot, script and theme of this movie are factually erroneous and derogatory.

Movies are made to entertain and make money but why do they have to humiliate others to earn some quick cash? Even more disgusting is that some of the actors and actress are locals and one of them, an Iban, is an ex-federal minister's daughter. I also wonder why such movie passed the ever always-efficient censorship board in Finas? Why are they so insensitive to such insinuation and mockery of first degree to the Iban community?

I urged the authorities to be more sensitive and apply the same principle of banning such film of being shown to Malaysian public as 'The Sleeping Dictionary' has painted a picture far from the truth.

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