It was only last week that I got to watch this movie starred by Christian Bale.

No, it was not the Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises”.

It was a foreign movie entitled, “The Flowers of War”, which I understand won several awards from film critics.

It was set during the Japanese invasion of Nanjing, China in the 1940s……that led to much suffering arising from the cruelty of war.

In a nutshell, the story revolved around a group of young Chinese female students holed up in a church…….together with another group of Chinese prostitutes……evading the marauding (and lustful) Japanese soldiers!

Christian Bale (acting as a mortician) somehow also ended up in the church and got himself promising to get the young female students to safety.

Problem was that the Japanese soldiers and their commander…… who thought that the young female students and Bale were the only occupants of the church…… decided to use the young students as ‘Comfort Women’ and invited (read: ordered) the girls to attend a ‘party’ the following day.

That’s when the prostitutes (they do appear to have hearts!) later came to the rescue……by agreeing to take the place of the young female students.

The prostitutes were made to look like ‘innocent’ young girls, thanks to the mortician turned ‘beautician’ Bale, who by that time was posing (to the Japanese) as the parish priest!

In the end, the Chinese prostitutes went to their deaths (as they planned to, with concealed glass sheaths, slice off any part of the Japs’ human anatomy at the ‘party’!)……….whilst the young girls escaped to freedom in a truck driven by Bale.

In between all this, the cruelty, ruthlessness…..besides the animal behaviour of the Japanese soldiers…..were laid bare for all to see!

Being a Chinese produced movie, it was obvious that this ugly part of history was not meant to be forgotten too easily.

After all, China had been, figuratively speaking, ‘gang raped’ by so many countries in the past…..from the Mongolian Tartars to the Europeans and the Japanese…..that movies like this reminds their people why China needs to be vigilant against external threats.

This is no different from Israel, who after having lost over 5 million Jews from the holocaust, would declare ‘Never Again’.

Is it no wonder why these two countries have strong armies….besides also having a nuclear deterrent?

Which now brings me to the UMNO led Malaysian government (read: Finas – National Film Development Corporation of Malaysia) sponsored movie entitled ‘Tanda Putera’ which was purportedly to portray the role played by Tun Abdul Razak and Tun Dr Ismail (Malaysia’s past premier and deputy premier) in Malaysia’s nation building.

Inevitably, the movie also highlighted the bloody riots of 13 May 1969 caused by the political inroads made by non-Malay parties in the General Elections then. (Note: The non-Malays already controlled the economic wealth of the country then……and still have a significant influence to this day!)

The riots in Malaysia then resulted in a New Economic Policy that favoured the Malays in everything from jobs, education, awarding of contracts, housing, financial privileges etc…….the aim of which was to bring the economically disadvantaged Malay majority in Malaysia to par (or close to it) with the other communities.

So one might conclude that it was only natural for UMNO to now remind their fellow Malay brethren of its history and the threat from the non-Malays who are again making political inroads today…….in the form of a movie like ‘Tanda Putera’!

(note: UMNO’s loss of support, especially from the non Malays, is not because of the New Economic Policy [NEP] but from the abuse of the NEP)

But hold on…….can a non Malay political party like DAP today make the kind of political inroads that happened over 40 years ago?

Since then, parliamentary and state seats have been delineated to favour the Malays or Bumiputeras.

In other words, there is non-proportional representation in Malaysia’s parliament.

Like in the Sarawark state elections, one seat in a location comprising  Bumiputeras that support Taib would have just over 10,000 voters…..whilst a non-Bumiputera  majority seat would have over 35,000 voters.

This means that the DAP can only make political inroads with the support of the Malays!

Anyway, it would be political suicide for DAP to go it alone…..and everyone knows it!

So who’s enabling DAP to make those inroads today?

It’s the Malay based (and true Muslim based) party, PAS (headed by Tok Gurus Hadi & Nik Aziz) and also the predominantly Malay Parti Keadilan Rakyat (headed by Anwar Ibrahim).

In other words, the Malay vote is split!

Is that why the UMNO controlled media and bloggers are vilifying DAP as evil and even Christian proselytisers?

But the fact remains that the Muslim based PAS and PKR are in partnership with DAP. Period!

So is the current situation different from that in 1969?

You bet your bottom dollar that it is!

In 1969, it was a straight split between the Malays and the Chinese.

Today, the split is between the Malays – between the rich Malays & cronies…. spoilt by the abuses of the New Economic Policy AND the decent God fearing Malays who disdain corruption and the abuse of the country’s institutions in furthering the interests of a small, albeit financially strong, group of croney capitalists!

So, should we be concerned about the stirring of racial hatred in the movie, Tanda Putera?

Certainly not……for Malaysians have come of age!


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