Captain Abu Raed

Captain Abu Raed

Sometimes, there are films -cinema films, TV films, B-grade films, films that are films but don’t really fit into any of the 3 previously mentioned categories but are still films nonetheless- that have plot holes are wide as a bus and plot lines that look like they’ve been written by the roadrunner in action while high on alcohol, or even plots that go “How did that happen??” but in the end, the grip you. You look past all the mistakes, all the flaws, all the somewhat illogical, improbable, sequences and as the film does that any good film is supposed to do : speak directly into your soul.

Captain Abu Raed, a 2008 Jordanian film is definitely one of these films. It definitely does not have the near-perfection in story telling of Taiwan’s 2008’s Cape No. 7 or the non-stop-action packed sequences Thailand’s 2008 offering Chocolate. There are happenings in the film that are not only improbable (if you really look) but also the uneven pace (mostly slow) and distribution of characters in the film can sometimes be unsettling.

Despite all this, the film is mostly carried by Captain Abu Raed (played by Nadim Sawalha). One can certainly feel the world through his eyes and this makes the imperfections (of the film) somewhat fade away. Not that it fades away entirely. I’m still not too happy with the fact that the character Tareq isn’t given out a proper storyline or that Captain Nour (Rana Sultan) has the habit of popping in and out of the film at irregular intervals.

One of my favourite scenes is the shot at the terrace above Captain Abu Raed’s home. Looking at the aeriel view of Amman with the seemingly endless rows of buildings, I can almost feel the wind blowing through my fair.

Please do watch this film, it’s on Youtube. You’ll never regret it. Despite it’s serious flaws, Captain Abu Raed is certainly very much appealing and that very much deserves a second viewing.

Missing the forest for the trees…

The so-called “325 Rally” at the New Era College in Kajang, Selangor on Sunday organized by Chinese educationist group Dong Zong (aka the United Chinese Schools Committee Association) has become famous. Or maybe infamous.

For the turnout? No.

For the memorable or perhaps rousing speeches? No.

For the dedication of the members of the public to come from afar to voice their opinion? Yet again no.

Instead, it has become well known due to the attempted attack on Deputy Education Minister Datuk Wee Ka Siong. Long story short, he was heckled and booed by the crowd and someone even tried to punch him (which he mostly avoided, by the way).

The rally was depicted by the mainstream media as being Pakatan Rakyat-friendly, a point which I don’t really dispute since it’s a generally known fact that Pakatan Rakyat currently has the lion’s share of the Malaysian Chinese votes in the country now.

But I think the point here is not really to talk about the Barisan Nasional or the Pakatan Rakyat. The real “tragedy” – if you could put it that way – of this whole episode was that what was eventually highlighted was actually the Wee Ka Siong incident and everybody seemed to miss the more important issue that was drowned in the din : The demands of the Dong Zong itself.

They are :

  • For the Education Ministry to immediately transfer out all teachers who do not have the required SPM Chinese language qualification from Chinese primary schools
  • To conduct special courses for Chinese language teachers who have taught Bahasa Malaysia or English for at least three years so that they are qualified to teach all three languages
  • To reform the teachers training syllabus so that more qualified Chinese-speaking teachers can be trained to fulfil needs of Chinese schools
  • To review the Education Act to ensure vernacular schools are accorded equal status and safeguarded as an integral part of national education system

[Source :

From the list of demands, and especially from Demand 01, the Dong Zong is unable to comprehend that they live in a country that has various races.

“Transfer out all teachers that don’t have the required SPM Chinese qualifications”? Hello brother, how many non-Chinese teachers would have that? Sure, I’m pretty certain that there are Malay and Indian teachers who can speak and teach in Mandarin Chinese but they’re pretty much a minority within a minority.

And when read with Demand 02 and Demand 03, it’s clear that Dong Zong wishes to virtually ethnically cleanse (and I make no apologies for this statement) all vernacular schools of teachers of other races (and I mean not just Malays but Indians and theothers too).

And to make it worse, I have not seen any poltician (yet) either from BN or PR publically opposing those racist demands.

Before anyone starts to jump and accuse me of having a racist agenda, let me tell you all, I am no racist at all. I’m Malay but at least 45% of my friends are Chinese and when I go to the cinema to watch a Chinese movie, I usually find myself the only Malay in the hall. Plus, I have dated a Chinese (and China girl at that) before. And I’m a big fan of China and East Asian culture. I do kendo, download Girls Generation and have the words 狮子 as my identity tag everywhere. No Chinese-hating racist in the world would do that.

Malaysians of all races must oppose these racist demands. In fact, I feel that either BN or PR should show leadership and merge all school streams into one single stream. Make Mandarin and Tamil be compulsory subjects in school but under one school system.

Dong Zong should realize that this is Malaysia, not China or Taiwan. A Chinese-only solution will not work. This is South East Asia, Nusantara. The lingua franca in these parts is Bahasa Malaysia and they have to co-exist with other races. They should not go one making racist demands that only worsen the problem of segregation between the races.

This istheproblem in Malaysia. That both sides of the political divide don’t have what it takes to properly solve this racial issue that plagues us. All they are thinking is of short term gains in terms of votes. I feel that we’ve come to a point where all sides, the Malays, the Chinese, the Indians and basically everybody else does not know what to and what not to demand. It’s just a free for all.

This has to stop. Why do you think I really detest politicians now?

Reset 3.0

Sometimes it just needs to be done.

I’ll still be me, you can be assured of that. Just that I’m not into saying I support (politically) BN or PR. Truth is, both of them suck.

Well, politicians, and I mean all politicians  suck. PR was probably (truth is, I’m just speculating on that too) only good in 2008 but they’ve gone over to the dark side as well.

I’m not going to lower myself by saying I support one party/coalition over the other.

That said, I’ve got a million other things to do and I’ve got to spend the next few weeks/months preparing for Operation Gunsmoke and for BURN, Darus Story Studios’ pioneer effort.

Although I’m still in a bit of a mess, I’m – and of course, Jeeja Yanin, my girl and every trusty Perodua Myvi –  all ready and roaring for this kick-ass adrenaline-filled year. Bring it on!! XD

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