While I was busy working, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng went and told cinemas in the state not to screen the film Tanda Putera.
Well done, old chap. Not only does the current Government ban-happy and often ridiculed for their fear of any narrative that does not follow their own views or is unbeneficial to them; now we see the future Government is equally absurd.
I can't say much about Tanda Putera since I have yet to see the movie. I have only heard rumours so far, therefore to talk about it without watching said film is extremely stupid.
The overreaction, though, is equally dumb. Guan Eng have since backtracked, saying there was a miscommunication, which is equally baffling. Say he were to write a memo saying, "Release Sulaiman Aklaken!" and then his administration goes ahead and tells the Penang authorities to "Release the Kraken!" we would all be under threat of a giant Lovecraftian monster taking away our virginity. Or virgins, however that works.
If he really thought the movie was dangerous enough to warrant a ban, for fear of fragile Malaysian minds to be influenced by it, Guan Eng should have just said, "I have not watched the movie, but judging by reactions and reports from people who have, it is yet another Barisan Nasional and UMNO propaganda that is quite possibly seditious. However, since the narrative favours the ruling coalition, the authorities have let it be. Such is the double standards and hypocrisy in Malaysia. I hope we do not support any act in inciting hatred and racial disunity, as per the Prime Minister's call for reconciliation right after the recent General Election."
However, Guan Eng instead opted to do what he did, proving that even after we all take down the BN Government, eventually, the replacement is just as bad. I mean, first Tanda Putera - with whatever political agenda it brings, or not - then what? Would May 13 remain a taboo subject, or would Guan Eng one day make his own Tanda Putera in order to present history from his own perspective, to further his own personal agenda?
The current Government has always been notorious in banning things for nonsensical reasons. Or enforcing changes to stuff that need not be changed. For example, the movie Hellboy was ordered to change its title to Super Sapiens. Why? Cause 'hell' is a bad word. It brings up images of... hell.
Fantasia was a film that was not allowed to screen until the filmmakers changed many things in the movie and called it Fantasi. If memory serves correct, I remember that the Arnold Schwarzenegger flick The 6th Day was also banned because it had clones in it and cloning is an 'act against God'. Funnily enough, around that same time, Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones was released here in Malaysia. While The 6th Day featured perhaps one or two clones, Attack of the Clones featured tens of thousands of them. I am not sure about this 6th Day thing as I remember reading about it somewhere, but it could all be untrue.
The point is, the current Malaysian Government is doing fine playing the out-of-touch and eternally scared administration, that there is no need for Guan Eng or any opposition-leaning people to jump on the bandwagon. Are Malaysians so stupid that we would swallow propaganda whole, or take it like a suppository up our collective asses?
And not enough people have yet seen Tanda Putera to make any kind of collective informed opinion. And even then, it might only work for certain parts of the community. Some people might actually like Tanda Putera, and who are we to tell people what they should or should not like?
I mean, what are we - the Malaysian Government?