Category Archives: I May Be Malaysian But I Carry A Big Stick

The POTA and Sedition Act issue is a deja vu of Malaysia in 2007


Lawyers against the Peaceful Assembly Bill 2011
Photo for illustration purposes only

We have been making progress (however little and slow) in the department of freedom of speech and expression in Malaysia over the years. Then, the government had to reverse all that with the new POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act) and amendment of the Sedition Act (which was suppose to be abolished, by the way).

I remember back in 2007 when two bloggers, Jeff Ooi (who is now a DAP member and the MP of Jelutong) and Rocky Bru AKA Datuk Ahirudin Attan, were bullied and hauled up to court for blogging their thoughts and opinions.

I was young, energetic and full of idealism then. I even went to court with them and made several video stories on the issue.

 

 

Listen to The Fat Bidin Podcast where we discuss POTA and the Sedition Act:

Read several of my columns regarding POTA and the Sedition Act:
Do MPs vote according to their consciences? (The Malaysian Insider)
Give us affordable Internet but take away our freedom to use it (The Malaysian Insider)
Should we be worried about POTA? (Astro AWANI)

 

Long form documentary journalism


Photo by Jon Hill (7 Days Preceding)

I enjoy long form documentary work. That’s why I make documentary films and take photos. So I’m excited to see this one project by news editor and photojournalist Jon Hill. He follows Hillary Clinton and the rest as they go around campaigning in New Hampshire for the presidential primary elections (which will happen in 2016) taking photographs and the project is called ‘7 Days Preceding‘.

Photo by Jon Hill (7 Days Preceding)

And it’s also cool for me as a solo-journalist who likes to keep things simple shooting alone with one camera for both stills and video (and sometimes that means just my smartphone!), because Hill only used one camera and one lens (Fujifilm X-E1 with a 27mm f/2.8 Fujinon lens). Small enough to be carried around inconspicously.

Photo by Jon Hill (7 Days Preceding)

The ‘7 Days Preceding’ project reminds me very much of my own project called ‘I May Be Malaysian But I Carry A Big Stick‘ when I followed blogger and politician Jeff Ooi on his campaigning in Penang during the 2008 General Election. Go check out the multimedia blog entries I did then. Some photos I took are below (I took videos too).

Jeff Ooi rocking with the crowd at Han Chiang High School, Penang.

Lim Guan Eng speaking  in Han Chiang High School, Penang.

The late Karpal Singh campaigning in Jelutong, Penang.

Jeff Ooi speaking in Jelutong, Penang.

 

How to look like a cool documentary filmmaker


I found a picture of myself in front of a line of riot police taken by my brother at the Sunway anti-toll hike protest in January 2007. I was filming for my ‘I May Be Malaysian, But I Carry A Big Stick’ documentary film (yeah… it’s been 2 years since I started working on the film).

This is a picture of one of my favourite documentary filmmakers, Sean Langan, who happens to be filming in front of a line of riot police too (in Argentina, I think). Somehow… he can pull off that ‘cool’ look way better than I can!

Here’s my video of the Sunway demonstration (I first posted it online on 8 January 2007). After the general elections last month, the guy who increased the toll rate is gone and some of the participants of the demonstration are now members of parliament! Wooo! This is the first time I’m working so long on a film and it’s pretty cool because you get to see things evolve and change.

Want me to be your mentor?


Have you heard of APOSTROPHE? Its a yearly art project organised and sponsored by DiGi. Its been going on for two years now (the first focused on literature while the second was on photography). This year is the third installment and it will focus on filmmaking. I’ve been asked to be one of the mentors (the others are Azharr Rudin, Woo Ming Jin, Tan Chui Mui and Mussadique Suleiman). There was an article in The Star recently which you can read.

Recognising how my blog has such a massive cult following, the organisers kindly asked me if I could help promote the project. And being the humble superstar celebrity that I am, I obliged.

Basically, its a competition where all you need to do is to produce a film between 90sec and 160sec based on the theme ‘makan’. Winners will win prizes and a trip to some obscure country, I think. Just go visit the website at Apostrophegallery.com for more information. Once there, you’ll also get to see the works of the mentors which were done specifically for the project.

I cheated though… I cut out a short scene from my film ‘I’m Muslim Too!’ which I thought fit the ‘makan’ theme and could stand alone. The video above is of the original scene from my film. For the purpose of the Apostrophe project, I did make a slight adjustment (I’m not that much of a cheat!). So if you want to watch that version, check out the website, yeah?

(The 2008 General Election heat is still pretty intense. I have so much documented on video which would be great to release online right now, but I think I should hold on as the main purpose is to complete the feature length film, ‘I May Be Malaysian, But I Carry A Big Stick’, and not to have a newsflash blog. Woo!! Suspense wohh!!! Can’t wait for the film huh? Well… there’s still a little bit of shooting to do and then editing. So just hang on.)

Rock & Roll YB!


Jeff Ooi knows how to win the hearts and minds of his constituency. When other candidates spew out speeches, he rocks out with a guitar! This is during the DAP rally on the 6th of March 2008 which saw more than 60,000 people showing up. Pak Lah could only pull in 6,000.

I May Be Malaysian, But I Carry A Big Stick‘ is going to be a tough film to complete. I’ve been following Jeff around since January 2007 (check out my entries since the first day). Tons of footage to go through. And I still need to shoot more!