Sebak baca puisi lama, Kassim Ahmad ajak rakyat ‘derhaka’

Sumber: The Malay Mail Online

Dr Kassim Ahmad di mahkamah selepas hakim memutuskan tahanan yang dibuat Jabatan Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan (Jawi) ‘tidak sah’, 21 Disember 2015. — Foto oleh Saw Siow Feng

Dr Kassim Ahmad di mahkamah selepas hakim memutuskan tahanan yang dibuat Jabatan Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan (Jawi) ‘tidak sah’, 21 Disember 2015. — Foto oleh Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, 8 Ogos — “Kian lama kita mati dalam setia, kali ini kita hidup dalam derhaka!” dua baris terakhir sajak “Dialog” yang dibacakan penuh emosi oleh Kassim Ahmad.

Meskipun sedikit lemah kerana masalah kesihatan, tokoh intelektual dan sasterawan Melayu itu, kini berusia 83 tahun, agak beremosi ketika membacakan puisi itu, yang ditulis pada 1958.

Pemikir kontroversi yang sering dilabel “anti-hadis”, Kassim mengajak masyarakat terus lantang melawan kepincangan dan tadbir urus negara terutamanya mengenai masalah rasuah.

“Kita kena derhaka, memberontak terhadap kejahatan-kejahatan besar yang berlaku kepada kehidupan kita, di Malaysia dan di dunia.

“Kalau kita tidak bangun, siapa yang akan menyelamatkan kita?” soal Kassim, bekas pemimpin Parti Sosialis Rakyat Malaysia (PSRM), yang kesal dengan senario politik dan ekonomi negara.

Bekas tahanan Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) itu mendeklamasikan puisi tersebut di depan hampir 50 hadirin di sini dalam diskusi puisi terkenalnya “Sidang Roh” semalam. Read more

Lamenting the hypocrisy over the Malaysia Film Festival Awards controversy — Aidil Khalid

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY AIDIL KHALID

AUGUST 8 — The recent controversy over the introduction of separate categories for Best Picture awards between Bahasa Malaysia (sic) and non Bahasa Malaysia (sic) films in this year’s Malaysia Film Festival (FFM), highlights the dilemma that Malaysians are facing: the flawed national assimilation that ran for so long, over half a century, and still is running high.

To be sure, the controversy over the awards was only the tip of the iceberg, for something larger, even bigger and much more horrifying actually lies underneath. Malaysians are so utterly torn and divided, some perhaps even absolutely clueless, as to the very definition of what it means to be a united Malaysian: that while we embrace and celebrate our multi-cultural and multi-religious diversity, it is in the end, in the one language that we should all look up to — regardless of our race or religion — to be the common unifying force, which we had all accepted Bahasa Melayu as our National language, as per the Federal Constitution.

Forget about the dream to truly become a “bangsa Malaysia”, when even such a move to award films using the national language (while not neglecting non bahasa local films as well, albeit in a separate category) is frowned upon by those who odiously alleged that it is “racially-divisive”. That was what the film-maker Afdlin Shauki cited when he decided to announce his boycott against this year’s FFM, conveniently leaving out the part that such categorisations are distinguished not based on race, but on language. Afdlin was then followed by a herd of others who jumped onto the bandwagon, including Nazir Razak who congratulated Afdlin and questioned “why the segregation?”; Tony Fernandes who supported Nazir; Jagat director, Shanjhey Kumar, who said such a move was a “disgrace”; and the cinematographer Mohd Noor Kassim inferring that it was racism, to name a few.

But is that really so? Read more

No language requirement for a ‘Malaysian film’ under Finas Act, says ‘Jagat’ team

Source: The Malay Mail Online

'Jagat' director Shanjhey Kumar Perumal (pic) and executive producer Sivanantham Perianan pointed out that the regulations for the 28th FFM nominations had not specified that the nominees use the national language as a medium. — Picture by Cinema Online

‘Jagat’ director Shanjhey Kumar Perumal (pic) and executive producer Sivanantham Perianan pointed out that the regulations for the 28th FFM nominations had not specified that the nominees use the national language as a medium. — Picture by Cinema Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 8 — The director and producer of critically-acclaimed film Jagat have questioned the Malaysia Film Festival’s (FFM) insistence for local films to use the Malay language yesterday, which has led to its controversial segregated nominations.

The duo — director Shanjhey Kumar Perumal and executive producer Sivanantham Perianan — called on organiser Malaysia Film Producers Association (PFM) to explain the source behind its language requirement, claiming that such a thing does not exist in the Finas Act 1981.

“Finas Act 1981 does not touch on the use of national language as the only medium for filmmaking. In fact, there is no definition stipulating what exactly a ‘national film’ or ‘Malaysian film’ is,” they said in a statement.

They pointed out that the regulations for the 28th FFM nominations had not specified that the nominees use the national language as a medium.

“Therefore, we request for PFM to explain and exhibit the source of authority for the 70 per cent Bahasa Malaysia requirement that becomes the reference in shortlisting and judging the best picture for FFM all this while,” they said.

The duo questioned whether language requirement was only put in place by the organisers of FFM, and suggested that it can be revised through a dialogue session with stakeholders if that was the case.

They also suggested for the festival’s committee to benchmark FFM with national film festivals held in India, which they claimed has a more complex pluralistic society than Malaysia. Read more