Sikhs raise concerns over scenes in Mat Kilau movie

The United Sikhs Malaysia have raised concerns over the local epic movie Mat Kilau which the association claims to have depicted “controversial” and “distasteful” scenes about the Sikh community.

(NST) – The film, directed by Syamsul Yusof, was inspired by the historical figure Mat Kilau, who resisted British colonialism in Pahang during the 1880s.

However, United Sikhs Malaysia said certain fictional scenes in the movie, involving the Sikhs who served in the British army, could lead to religious and racial misunderstandings in the country.

“The film shows the spirit of the Malays who are determined to defend Tanah Melayu. However, regretfully it portrays members of other race and religion as villains.

“We believe this can lead to racial disharmony. In particular, we note that turbaned-Sikhs who were British soldiers in the movie were portrayed to have laid hands on old folks, children and helpless citizens.

“These parts were added by the producers to make a compelling storyline.

“But, the Sikh code of practice prohibits laying hands on old folks, children, women and helpless citizens even during war,” the group said in a statement today.

Although the controversial scenes were fictional, the group said these components hurt the sentiments of the Sikhs.

They, therefore, urged the country’s film industry not to produce movies at the expense of hurting racial and religious sentiments that could potentially cause misunderstandings.