Thursday, September 11, 2014

Telling It Like It Is

Just like the National Library prefers to pulp books instead of burning them, the Media Development Authority (MDA) chose to slap a NAR rating (Not Allowed for All Ratings) instead of an outright ban on the award winning film "To Singapore, With Love". Producer Tan Pin Pin won international accolades for her effort, including Best Director at the Muhr AsiaAfrica Documentary Awards at the Dubai Film Festival 2013, and put our budding film industry in the limelight. In 2007, "Zahari's 17 Years" was actually banned by the government, but that caused such a stink that MDA must have learnt its bitter lesson about showcasing draconian methodologies.

When MDA declared that its contents "undermined national security", there was a glimpse of hope we may finally get to see how Mas Selamat climbed out a toilet window, giving future detainees a sneak preview of how to exit a supposedly secure detention facility with the greatest of ease. Nope, they objected to "untruthful accounts of how they came to leave Singapore". They meaning exiles who had to flee for their personal safety, like Tan Wah Piow who was let out of the prison gates only to be thrown straight into the clutches of the armoured division. The Singapore armed forces that we know doesn't exactly have a pristine safety record. Young lives are crushed under "parked" military vehicles, limbs severed in naval exercises, asthmatics snuffed out by smoke grenades, etc, etc.

The except from Berlinale (Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin) starts like this:
"Some places are better observed from a distance if you want to grasp their inner essence. For this portrait of her hometown, the tropical economic powerhouse of Singapore, Tan Pin Pin decided on a strictly external perspective. She meets with political exiles in London, Thailand, and Malaysia who had to leave the city thirty-five or fifty years ago – and who are to this day not permitted to return unless they die and their relatives bring back their ashes. The protagonists of the film fought for increased democracy and for Singapore to be freed from colonialism."

There must be more truth in that paragraph than the storyline that required 62 script revisions for the upcoming "1965" propaganda movie that will cost taxpayers $2.8 million. They must have had lots of problems with the part about collaborating with the Japanese occupiers when Singapore was Syonanto.

MDA is insisting the movie is wrong, that former CPM members "can return if they agree to be interviewed by the authorities on their past activities to resolve their cases". Even if they were never card carrying members of the Communist Party of Malaysia? Chia Thye Poh was never a member of the CPM. He lost the best years of his life just because one man said so. And that's the hard truth.

17 comments:

  1. Chia Thye Poh broke the world record for the longest incarceration without trial. Even Nelson Mandela lose to him. And that's the hard truth. I am amazed to read how a PAP member tried to suck up to LKY by saying he is Singapore's Nelson Mandela. Maybe he meant to say Mandela's captor.

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    1. Mandela only served one 5-year term as President of South Africa.
      He achieved his goal in ending apartheid.
      He felt that it was time for the next generation to figure out the rest of the details for South Africa.

      Was Nelson Mandela irresponsible in not hanging around to mentor the next generation of leaders?

      Delete
  2. Watch the trailer for this film.
    http://www.critic.de/film/to-singapore-with-love-6437/trailer/

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  3. Soon we will fInd You Tube slapped with a NAR rating too

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  4. Well, what has the Opooo WP's LTK had to say about this.

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  5. Unless you're a lick-spittle you're banned. Song sheets will be provided.

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  6. Beyond the immediate reaction to this episode is the terrifying thought that we are still living in the unreal Orwellian little red dot. In China they tell it as it is. The Ministry dealing with "information" is simply called the Ministry for Propaganda. Our Ministry of Communications and Information should be red-designated the Ministry of Truth as in Ninety Eighty Four. This Ministry is responsible for the falsification of historical events in keeping with the concept of doublethink, with three slogans:WAR IS PEACE: FREEDOM IS SLAVERY and IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.

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    Replies
    1. A fancy cloak of legitimacy for tyranny?

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    2. Ignorance Is Strength has long been a belief, message and practice of this govt. It had some uses during this country's first 25 years, but has been causing havoc after that, especially as it is coupled very rigidly with the belief and practice of Only Say And Think The Right Things and Fear is Good.

      So now you get a lot of problems and questions regarding CPF (which govt scholars amazingly still cant explain! so how did they pass their Oxford/Harvard exams?), the investments of sovereign wealth funds, the amount of real surplus in the Budget, the lack of infrastructure to accommodate a growing population, money and the growing the GDP is all that matters, your home being Only an asset, the disadvantages of most residents being foreigners, the usefulness of a degree, Sporeans' ability to think...

      It all seems to point - very clearly - to the view that criticism and not thinking along the ''right'' paths might actually be Extremely Helpful.

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    3. Hence the earlier attempts at mass sterlisation of 'poorly educated ' women cloaked under the 'stop at two' population control measure and then the encouragement of 'highly educated' women to breed.

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  7. Stupid Govt, The more you ban a film , the more people would be clamouring to view it.
    Who is to say their version of our political history is the correct one ?
    Someone says a leopard doesn't change its spots.
    If it doesn't, we can all skin it alive, in 2 years' time

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Operation Freak Election Results (OFER)

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    2. Frankly I will not know about this film and am not so eager to watch it but the more the Pappies trying to ban the film, the more we should see it and believe the truth in it.

      you see. Whatever pappies always do is always the opposite of "right", so if they say it is wrong, all the more it must be "right". Do the "right" thing to watch it.

      Why didn't this brutal truth in youtube for the world to watch ?

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  8. The more they want to ban political films, the more they are scared that the people will know the truth from it.

    And if any Prime Minister is so coward until he can't even allow political films to be screened for public viewing, he shouldn't really ask to be paid the highest political salary in this world, should he ?

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  9. Entering Singapore by sea to snatch a child - no security risk.
    Film about a bunch of aging exiles - national security risk.

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  10. No casino does not mean not building integrated resorts with gambling as part of it.
    Jumping up from the grave does not mean he can execute his vow.

    All are empty vow and threat.

    How conceited or imaginative one exhibits will only show how vain one has been. End of the Day, it shall be dust and dirt for everyone.

    ReplyDelete