Namewee and the other talent not fully utilized

“…proves 1malaysia concept has been maligned by those who are supposed to support it who can’t go beyond slogneering and sneering.”

By mansor puteh


Malaysia in 2010 has not managed to be what America was in 1978. But then were are not America and they are not us.

Comparatively speaking, what is in Namewee’s video posting, is no different than the racist utterances of those who scream them in the parliament and sometimes in the streets, including those that were uttered by the Hindraf leaders who had done far worst things.

But venting his frustration by doing small videos uploaded onto youtube may not be the right course of action. He needs to do more, by going on to the other side as what his other brethren in the arts or film had already done.

The person i am referring to is Syed Azidi otherwise known as kickdefella, who directed a feature film called ‘persona non grata’ in 2006. The film bombed at the box office which rendered himself a persona non grata of the film industry.

The problem with this film is that Syed Azidi as the director was not given the chance to explain to the public and audiences about the film. The role was seized by its producer.

Too bad such a talent had not been fully utilized, so that it has gone bad.

For Syed Azidi, he found it expedient to go to PAS for salvation. Now he has left it to be in a state of limbo.

I know him personally and I believe he has talent to go beyond ‘persona non grata’.

Unfortunately, chances of him being able to get another shot at directing a feature film are bleak.

Syed Azidi aka Kickdefella

And unfortunately, too, Namewee’s attempt to break into the local cinema movement as a new and promising director may not be realized. He had announced in public which was splashed in the star how he had written a screenplay called 1malaysia.

Unfortunately, he failed to obtain any grant from FINAS or the government.

This caused him to feel disillusioned with the government and its film agency.

He is not alone. Many others who have formal training in film had also suffered in the hands of the film agency and the government for being insensitive to the needs of the new generation of filmmakers who are formally trained in film.

Those who are in the film agency and the ministry of information, communication and culture or KPKK are not trained to be receptive to positive change. They dwell on the pass. They admire the achievements of the past generation of filmmakers without knowing how to admire history.

They use those achievements to lull themselves into complacency.

Maybe they are just not qualified to be where they are in the film agency as well as KPKK.

The minister, Rais Yatim had declined to accept an invitation by the film directors’ association for a discussion. He fears meeting qualified directors, and busy himself mixing around with those who are not.

This is definitely not what the 1malaysia concept is all about.

It is about how those who are in authority have failed to promote this concept based on what the public perceives it to be. To them it is just a slogan to be shouted again and again; and those who are seen to be shouting it the loudest, are also seen to be strong supporters of the powers that be, so their tenure as minister and members of the cabinet can be sustained.

This is definitely not what the 1malaysia concept should be.

It should be about those who can bring about change – real change and not cosmetic change.

It is also about how the government knows how to utilize its talent that can bring glory to the country.

The failure to contain the best trained in film has created unnecessary controversies.

Who else will join in the Namewee bandwagon? Amir muhammad had tried to do something like what Namewee but in a less dramatic or crude way, so he only got some of his books and videos downgraded by the authorities.

For my part, I had filed a counter suit against a bank for rm40 million which is pending in the high court, all because i only wanted to produce and direct a film.

Many others had gone to the other side and be with the opposition, which thrives at government’s inefficiencies so they could get recruits from amongst those who felt marginalized by government officers who do not perform and who do not support the 1malaysia concept.

Their own definition of this concept is those who support them and those who can support their personal sustenance and not that of the country and government.

When i first arrived in New York City in the late summer of 1978, i saw some posters of the then American secretary of state, Henry Kissinger who posed in the nude. One of his legs cover his genitals.

It was obvious that some smart artist in America had superimposed the photo of his face over the body of someone else who was as old as him as the muscles on his body did not look taut, like that of a younger persons’ muscles or physics.

But there was no uproar. And Henry did not lodge any report with the police or file any law suit for defamation against the artist as well as the owners of the store who must have sold many copies of the posters.

In America and in 1978, or thirty-two years ago, they were able to accept such a prank. They know it is not Henry posing in the buff, and did not take much notice of it.

They took the poster at face value without anyone creating a stir.

If such a poster had been created and posted in the Internet, those whose face had been used for the poster, would jump off his seat and rush straight to the nearest police station to lodge a report against whoever was responsible for it.

And he would get the media to play up the issue and over-blow it, until it is becomes out of proportion and goes beyond a farce.

Malaysia in 2010 has not managed to be what America was in 1978.

 Note: Encik Mansor Puteh adalah pemikir, karyawan dan pengarah Filem Tempatan yang berpendidikan daripada Amerika Syarikat. Beliau terbabit secara aktif di dalam aktiviti-aktiviti ke arah memperbaiki mutu karya-karya filem tempatan.