Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Minister: ‘Tanda Putera’ takings to spawn more like it

The earnings from controversial “Tanda Putera” will go towards producing more such movies, Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek told Parliament today. The minister of communications and multimedia also explained that the RM4.7 million seed fund for the historical fiction film was sourced from both the National Film Development Corporation of Malaysia (FINAS) and the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC).
“The earnings from the film’s screening will be rechanneled back into a funding programme to develop and give opportunities for more nationalistic films like Tanda Putera to be produced,” Shabery said in a written reply in Dewan Rakyat here. According to Shabery, FINAS had given “Tanda Putera” RM2 million in cash and RM700,000 in use of production facilities, while MDec had contributed another RM2 million from content development grant, called BCi2. “Tanda Putera” is the second FINAS-funded historical fiction by director Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba after 2007’s “1957: Hati Malaya” which received a RM1.5 million grant.
The minister was replying to a question from Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng today, whether the film was factually based on true story behind the bloody May 13, 1969 riots.
Lim also questioned the use of public funds towards making the film, if it was just fictional and not actually based on facts. Shabery did not reply Lim’s question directly, but stressed instead that “Tanda Putera” was a nationalistic film about the friendship and sacrifice of the late former prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and his late deputy Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman.
“The story of the two national leaders’ sacrifice and struggle in building Malaysia, is a story that must be taken as an example although both of them were risking their lives faced with critical illness,” he added.
Shuhaimi had in August told The Malay Mail Online that the film is not a documentary, expressing her hope that it would encourage Malaysians to find out more about the country’s history. In fending off accusations that the government had poured in RM 4.7 million to back the film in a bid to push its contentious version of the May 13 riots, Shuhaimi had reasoned that such funding was necessary for history-based and nationalistic films.
Shuhaimi had previously explained that “Tanda Putera” is essentially about Razak and his deputy, Dr Ismail — “two men who gave up everything, including their lives for the country”.
Related news: Gov't intends to fund more movies like Tanda Putera http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/241884

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