Wednesday, September 4, 2013

COLLAPSE OF THE OLD MALAYAN CINEMA BASED THEN IN SINGAPORE AND THE 13 MAY, 1969 TRAGEDY. – PART I.

…AND LESSONS NOT LEARNT FROM THE NEED TO CREATE A NEW MALAYSIAN IDENTITY LED WITH THE RECONSTRUCTION OF THE NEW MALAYSIAN CINEMA TODAY.
By Mansor Puteh



The political analysts that we have in Malaysia and also Singapore have other views on the same matters. The historians, psychologists and sociologists also have their own takes on them.

And the economists as well as politicians too, did not think it was within their scope of thinking to look at the real magic of Hollywood, only to be distracted by the obvious distractions that their films could offer.

The economists only want everybody else to think that material well-being is the be-all of our endeavor, and the creation of the New Malaysian Cinema to be outside of their consciousness and therefore not important.

The film industry that we have in Malaysia is sufficient if there are people who make films, without care for the after effects.

In America, the entertainment industry is the sixth largest. And without it, America would not be what it is today.

Unfortunately, because of its foreign policies and attitudes towards the Arabs and Muslims, top Hollywood actors who used to get US$20 million per film can be lucky if they can get US$3 million these days.  

But a deeper investigation and study of the history of Hollywood and what it had managed to do to America, can be useful to Malaysia, which must embark on a more grandiose plan to reconstruct its own New Malaysian Cinema.

Making films and encouraging those who are not qualified to enter the industry has caused the industry to fail on all counts; it has only managed to turn the cinema into a new business opportunity to those who are capable of churning films copied from Hollywood and Hong Kong, which do not help to create the New Malaysian Cinema, but to push for the agendas of those countries.

Unfortunately, all of them had neglected to consider the cinema in the equation.

Consider also: If America does not have Hollywood, would the whole country not be in the same situation as Malaysia today?

And in the 1960s at the height of the American Black Movement or Civil Rights Movement, Hollywood was churning a certain type of films. Did they also help to contribute towards social, cultural and hence political discontent amongst the Blacks in the country?

Therefore, can Malaysia continue to be in this state of limbo without having the New Malaysian Cinema? What social and political costs can the government continue to bear?

Up to the 1960s there was less racial and social as well as cultural discontent in Malaya and Singapore then and what valuable lessons that can be learnt from the cinema to day that can
be used to promote national unity and also the unity of the World Muslim Ummah and
Bangsa Melayu.

Tunku Abdul Rahman said how proud he was in being able to achieve independence or Merdeka for Malaya then from Britain ‘without spilling a single drop of blood’.

But on 13 May, 1969, a lot of it was spilled in the Kampung Baru/Chow Kit area in Kuala Lumpur and in some other places throughout the city and in few other towns.

This unfortunate event was not caused by political discourses which broke into different directions by the two plus one major minor race in the country; the two major ones are the Melayu and Chinese, and the plus or minor one, being the Indians, who should have known better not to take the wrong side and created more rifts.

The Indians having mostly left the rubber estates were not able to comprehend what could go wrong with the two major races if a tiny spark was ignited by politicians who knew better not to play with fire.

The collision and siding of the Indians with the Chinese in the 13 May, 1969 incident should be a good enough subject of any serious study on old Malayan politics.

Did the Indians then also feel discontented for having been stuck in the estates?

And did they think by being a ‘minority’ in Malaya, they found affinity with the Chinese who were also the minority, which were bigger and perhaps together, they could form a stronger minority force to oppose the Melayu majority and might?


No comments: