Tanda Putera opens in Penang cinemas

GEORGE TOWN - Penangites can watch the controversial Tanda Putera in time for Merdeka Day as cinemas here are proceeding to screen it after a two-day delay.

According to Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) spokesman Esther Chew, the movie would be screened today following the state government's clarification that it had never issued a directive against the movie, but had merely given an "advisory".

She said the movie falls under the National Film Development Corporation's compulsory screening scheme (Skim Wajib Tayang) for local movies, and it has been approved by the Censorship Board.

GSC had initially scheduled the movie for screening at its cineplexes in Queesbay Mall here and Sunway Carnival on Thursday, but did not proceed after receiving "directives" from the Penang as well as Seberang Prai municipal councils.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng gave an assurance that the state government would not take any action against cinema operators who screen the movie.

In a statement yesterday, Lim reiterated his earlier stand that the movie was full of lies, and that it demonises minority groups.

"As a matter of historical record, the Penang Government has a moral duty to adopt a clear and unambiguous stand to oppose any attempt to rewrite history," he said, adding that the advisory was issued because Tanda Putera used public funds to propagate lies that promote hatred, instead of harmony, between the races.