The hope for change lies in the hands of our young anak Bangsa Malaysia

Posted on October 4, 2009

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Was at the FreedomFilmFest2009 at CM last night to catch the screening of the 3 winning entries as well as the announcement of the winner of the Best Human Rights Award from the 3 winning entries.

Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia was given a booth at the Fest for its voter education and registration team and to sell our merchandise.

L-R : Jayanath, Eric, Elaine & Nanda. Eric and Elaine have been manning the booth from Friday have been doing a marvellous job

L-R : Jayanath, Eric, Elaine & Nanda. Eric and Elaine have been manning the booth from Friday have been doing a marvellous job

Rahmat Haron’s Al-Fatehah Memali is, as far as I know, the first attempt to document on film the truth behind the massacre of 14 anak Bangsa Malaysia.

When this tragedy occurred in 1985, I was in England.

Three years later, on my return home, I made an attempt to unearth information on this tragedy with little success.

Then, like so many others, Memali faded from my memory, giving way to work and family demands on my time and attention.

Last night, Rahmat explained to the audience that the Memali tragedy must not be seen as a religious issue, but one that spotlights the flagrant breach of human rights norms by the authority of the  day that resulted in loss of life and liberty.

A plaque bearing the names of the 14 who lost their lives in the Memali tragedy. Photo borrowed from Rahmat's blog

A plaque bearing the names of the 14 who lost their lives in the Memali tragedy. Photo borrowed from Rahmat's blog

Rahmat expressed the hope that his effort in documenting this sad episode in our nation’s history may be the nudge that civil society needs to push for a truth and reconciliation commission that will look into really what happened that day in 1985.

I join Rahmat in urging civil society to take the lead in pushing for such a commission.

No Silver Lining : The Perak Crisis is a creditable effort by two young lawyers to document the crisis that assailed Perakians when BN displaced the Pakatan state government through the vehicle of three ADUNs from Pakatan first resigning from their respective Pakatan parties and then declaring their preparedness to lend support to a BN state government.

nosilverlining-big_stdThis documentary, for me, was important in that it serves as a reminder for all of us that even as the rakyat are awakening to the need to exercise their power to bring about the changes that we want to see in this, our country, through the ballot box, BN will stop at nothing and will not hesitate to deny and thwart the will of the people.

The final winning entry, Kayuh, by Soh Sook Hwa, documents the JERIT-organised “Cycle for Change” initiative that took off in December last year.

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Kayuh also picked up the Best Human Rights Award last night.

You have to watch Kayuh yourself in order to fully appreciate its worth.

I have watched this documentary twice now and each time I was left in complete awe of the young anak Bangsa Malaysia who chose to be part of this “Cycle for Change” initiative to deliver a message from the rakyat to the politicians.

Soh, with her trophy in hand, flanked by the some of the cyclists who were involved in the "Cycle for Change" initiative and who were in the audience last night

Soh, with her trophy in hand, flanked by the some of the cyclists who were involved in the "Cycle for Change" initiative and who were in the audience last night

I urge you to try and catch these three documentaries when the FreedomFilmFest2009 heads up north, south and over to East Malaysia.

And if you can’t, get in touch with KOMAS and buy the CD that has all three documentaries for a mere RM20.

Posted in: People Power