By Ida Lim
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 — DAP's Lim Kit Siang today said he remains unconvinced with the explanation by the director of the controversial movie "Tanda Putera", saying that he had been defamed on its official Facebook page.
The film-maker Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba yesterday denied reports that the re-telling of the May 13, 1969 riots features a scene depicting Lim as having urinated at a flagpole of the then Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Harun Idris's residence.
Lim refuted Shuhaimi, claiming that a photo of him being "manhandled" with a caption saying he had urinated at the said flagpole "was posted in the album in the “Tanda Putera” Facebook titled “Peristiwa-peristiwa yang dimuatkan di dalam filem ini” (Events depicted in this movie)."
"Shuhaimi’s explanation that the creators of the film had received many photographs from netizens which were shared on the
Facebook page, including the offending picture, and that it was removed...after complaints were received about the photo, is neither credible nor acceptable," Lim wrote in a statement today.
He claimed "the defamatory and baseless allegation...was made by Tanda Putera official Facebook page itself, and not a 'shared information' from netizens", adding that this gave a "clear impression" that the photo was taken from the movie.
"Unless there is a satisfactory and adequate explanation or accounting for the defamatory reference featuring me in the Tanda Putera official Facebook page, I reserve the right to take legal action against such defamation."
Lim slammed Shuhaimi for taking "almost four long weeks" to tell the public that he was "not even featured in the footage of the film" since reports of it first surfaced.
Lim alleged that Shuhaimi's slow response had allowed "UMNO/Barisan Nasional (BN) cybertroopers" to accuse him of "provoking" the May 13 riots "based on the movie's alleged "urination" episode."
Lim stressed that he couldn't have provoked the riots in the capital city as he "was simply not in Kuala Lumpur on May 11, 12 and 13 of 1969."
"Even the photograph that was used in the movie’s earlier Facebook page was not a photograph taken in 1969 but was from a different incident in Sabah 15 years later in 1984."
Lim said Shuhaimi should know that any "unfair...portrayal of the May 13 riots in...10 minutes is not only capable of overshadowing the rest of the 105 minutes of the film, but have the disastrous effect of dividing instead of uniting Malaysians," said the Ipoh Timur MP.
"Do we want to continue to allow the May 13 past to haunt and divide Malaysians or do we want to move forward as one united people building a better and brighter future for all Malaysians, learning from the lessons of May 13?" he asked.