Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Premier Voice

In the midst of essay writing, I can’t help but to be amused by my Premier Minister Dr. Mahathir. In the release of Sean Connery’s self produced and directed action thriller in 1999, Entrapment, the vocally aggressive minister spoke his mind.

Never mind his retirement from active politics in recent years. In many ways he is still the mouth piece for citizens of a nation under constant disparaging views by audiences of other nations.

He may not exactly be the most endearing of all leaders, but he sure is a forcibly vocal man – one whose words you simply don’t ignore.

Here's honoring the man who speaks for the masses with smaller voices.


From Asian Economic News, 28 June 1999

The latest Sean Connery movie ''Entrapment'' has drawn the ire of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad who complained Tuesday that the thriller distorts Malaysia.

''I really cannot understand why we need to distort and harm...The urge to distort and misinform seemed irresistible to some people,'' he told a group of foreign advertising executives.

''Recently, a film was made on location in Malaysia (''Entrapment'')... We are horrified to find that the Kuala Lumpur Twin Towers, the tallest building in the world, are pictured as rising from the slums of Malacca 150 kilometers away,'' he said.

In a scene that was spliced, Connery and the female lead, Catherine Zeta Jones, were pictured cruising down the filthy Malacca River with a breathtaking view of the 452-meter-tall Petronas Twin Towers as a backdrop.

Mahathir said such a distorted view would make movie audiences in the developed countries think ''Malaysia was one of the developing countries which wasted public funds, perhaps even foreign aid, on grandiose monuments.''

''And they of course would not want to come and see the tallest building in the world,'' he said, adding that the twin towers are actually surrounded by 20 hectares of beautifully landscaped garden.

Malaysia has always wanted to promote itself as a choice film location. When ''Entrapment'' was shot here, the government gladly helped with visa processing, customs clearance, and telecommunications, and even provided police protection.

Another Hollywood movie filmed in Malaysia recently is ''Anna and the King'' starring Jodie Foster and Hong Kong superstar Chow Yuen Fatt. In a similar vein, Mahathir hit out again at the Western media.

He acknowledged that Malaysia has been going through a period of economic instability coupled with ''a degree of political turmoil'' arising from the removal of his ex-deputy Anwar Ibrahim from the cabinet. There were street demonstrations that turned ugly, but Mahathir said they were confined to the capital and had since lost steam.

''Kuala Lumpur is now its usual bustling self,'' he said.

''This is the true picture. But as you yourself know, this is not the impression you get when you read the media reports or the TV reports before you come here,'' Mahathir said.

No comments: