Allow Vishwaroopam screening: Malaysia's ethnic Indian party


Malaysia's largest ethnic Indian political party MIC has asked the government to allow the screening of Kamal Haasan's controversy-hit film Vishwaaroopam, stressing that the spy thriller was not against any religion.

Haasan's film was removed from local cinemas a day after its release following a directive from the home ministry, much to the disappointment for ethnic Indian fans of the superstar here.

MIC strategic director S Vell Paari, whose father Samy Vellu headed MIC for several years, said the spy thriller portrayed incidents of terrorism but had nothing to do with religion.

He joined the call by local NGO Hindraf Makkal Sakti for the Government to allow the screening of the movie.

Vell Paari added that he had extended an invitation to Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and his officers to attend a special screening of the movie and decide whether it was anti-Islam as alleged by some quarters.

"I am sure the film distributors, Lotus Fivestar AV, will accommodate the request," he said.

The Film Censorship Board of Malaysia had initially approved Viswaroopam for public viewing and Lotus Fivestar AV started screening the movie on Jan 24.

The approval, however, was withdrawn the next day following a Home Ministry directive.

The board's control and enforcement division secretary Razak Derahman said the movie was suspended on Hishammuddin's orders.

Meanwhile, Penang Hindu Association deputy president P Murugiah said the Government must be consistent with their guidelines on the screening of films in the country.

He said the association had, in 2008, called on the Government not to allow the screening of the Mike Myers movie, The Love Guru, which allegedly had elements that were sensitive to Hindus.

"But there was no response from the Government," said Murugiah, adding that the Hollywood comedy had defamed the beliefs and hurt the sensitivities of millions of Hindus in Malaysia and around the world, the Star newspaper said.

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