Malaysian films stir up racial tensions of the past
KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Two Malaysian films are challenging longstanding taboos about discussing politically touchy subjects, and the controversy they have generated has triggered fears they could spark racial unrest.
The films, Tanda Putera (Mark of Princes) and The New Village, are the first serious attempts to portray the human drama of two key episodes in the multi-ethnic nation's history.
But though the films have not yet been publicly screened, they are already tearing at unhealed wounds in the often uneasy co-existence between majority Malays and the large Chinese minority.
Tanda Putera is said to support the long-ruling authoritarian regime's official line - widely disputed - that Chinese political parties stoked deadly 1969 riots that remain a source of division to this day.