Saturday, July 14, 2007
V for Vendetta and Malaysia
Remember, remember, the 5th of November,
The gunpowder treason and plot,
I know for no reason,
why the gunpowder treason,
should be forgot.
Earlier today I watched V for Vendetta. At first i thought it was just another comic book adaptation. How wrong i was. It was a very thought provoking movie as how men can die for their ideals but their perspective, their ideas will never die. The msg relayed by the film is indeed very meaningful. All throughout the film, the identity of the man in the mask was never revealed. The man in the mask was a symbol of the people. He could be any man on the street. As long as the people united, there is no reason y they should be suppressed by the government. The hero in the movie, V, wanted to blow up the parliament. According to him, what use is the building when the real problem lies within the country? With enough people, blowing up a building can change the world.
One reason why i think the movie had such an impact on me is because the movie somewhat reflected the society I am living in. Below are the similarities I find between the movie and the country i live in.
The way the Government rule:
In the movie: The Government ruled through fear of the people. They constantly stated that if the people would not support the government, the country is once again going to fall into chaos. It is only the Government who had the power to maintain the order for the people.
In Malaysia: The Government oso ruled through fear. The constant argument by the Government is that the May 13th racial riots will happen again if the people did not vote for the Government. According to the Government, one cause of the May 13th riots was due to the victory of the Opposition in the state elections. Only the Government which is a coalition of all the main races can ensure satisfaction from every sectors.
The official religion:
In the movie: In the movie, the slogan "Strength through unity, unity through faith" constantly appears. The Government in the movie adopted Christianity as the official religion and hopes to unite its people using their faith in the religion. Good intentions right?? Wrong. In the movie, a person who was caught in possession of a Quran was executed for the fear he might be a terrorist who would disrupt the harmony within the country.
In Malaysia: After Independence of Malaya, the official religion adopted by the Malaysian government is Islam. All races accepted it as they have religious freedom. But apparently, such freedom can only be applied to non-Muslims. There are two highlights in the case of religion recently - Lina Joy and Revathi. Lina Joy was born a Muslim Malay. When she is mature enough to decide for herself, she decided to be a Christian. She absolved her faith and wanted the word Muslim erased from her identity card. Sad to say, her battle to the end proved to be avail. The Supreme Court ruled that she has to be subjected to Syariah Law and not Civil Law for this matter. Under Syariah Law, any apostate who no longer believes in Islam is deemed a criminal for he/she has deviated from the right path. Next case: Revathi, an Indian whose parents are Muslim converts but brought up by her Grandmother to be a Hindu. After the religious dept. realised she married and Hindu, they've decided to take her into one for their "faith rehabilitation" camps. In the camp, she was forced to eat beef ( not prize for those who manage to guess what Hindus can't eat) and not allowed any visits by her family members. She had to endure it for 6 months. So in a sense, any deviation from the official religion results in a criminal prosecution. Sounds like sth in the movie?
In the movie: There was a tragedy that befell the country. The St. Mary incident and the Three Waters incident. A deadly virus was released and a plagued ensued. The country fell into panic and chaos. The Government had to take affirmative actions in order to restore peace and security in the country. Terrorists were captured and executed but there was a conspiracy stating that the Government was the one who released the virus. Seizing the opportunity, the politicians in the country were able to push for affirmative policies and win the elections with landslide victory over other parties. Records of the incidents were deleted and kept as official secrets. A police chief investigating the incidents involving V and came across the records. The Supreme Chancellor's advice to him was to forget the contents he read as the facts were easily manipulated and fabricated.
In Malaysia: The tragedy that befell Malaysia was the May 13th incidents which was involved racial riots. The public records in Malaysia all stated that it was due to racist celebrations by one particular party after their victory in the elections which aroused the envy among other races which caused it. A book by Dr. Kua stated that after studying the declassified documents of the British Records, it was hinted that some aspiring politician wanted to gain power for himself and thus created this scenario in which they can take advantage of. Thus, right after the tragedy, the follow up was the setup of a National Unity commission which dealt with the interaction of all the different races and which introduced the New Economic Policy. Now after the allegations made by the book, the Government is telling the people that these are just "perceptions of foreigners" who do not understand the REAL situation in Malaysia. Thus, its credibility is questionable. Hmm... sounds like sth from that movie again???
The Measures taken to Ensure National Security
In the movie: The Government had built its empire based on the chaos created by the allegedly "Muslim Terrorist" attacks. Therefore, the Government had all say in the security measures in the country. There was curfew in the name of protection for the citizen. The Government also took affirmative actions to ensure its people have total faith in the Government. The national television broadcast company BTN airs the Government's propagandas. A talk show host who made fun of the Supreme Chancellor was taken in by the secret police and sentenced to death based on the evidence that he had a Quran and was suspected to be a Muslim terrorist.
In Malaysia: The Government also wants the people to have total faith in the coalition party. To ensure national harmony the Internal Security Act was passed. Anyone who was suspected of creating disunity or might have the potential of creating chaos would be taken into Sungai Buloh. The national television broadcast company RTM always airs shows which reflects national unity and racial harmony. All scandals never got to see the light of the day in the mainstream media.
Well well... That's all there is to it. Strangely after watching this movie i've this strange feeling like my life is just another movie (-_-" )