Today, December 2, in Kajang, over 500 ex-combatants of the defunct Communist Party of Malaya, together with families and friends came to commemorate the 30 anniversary of the signing of Hat Yai Peace agreement (2 Dec 1989). They laid down their arms and they were promised a safe passage home. These women and men were at their youth when they took up arms first to fight the Japanese and later the British for Independence. This war lasted about 44 years and many have lost their lives in the many battles but some are still alive today to tell their war memories and wounds. These annual gatherings are their way of healing themselves emotionally, physically and finding a sense of belonging.
Bukit Jugra, with a history of local wars among themselves, over the control of tin mining, is south of the Selangor coastal landscape, at the mouth of the Langat River. At the bottom of the hill, on a small cliff, is an old modestly built traditional Chinese temple, the Tian Bao Gong ( temple of heavenly treasures). What is most significant of this spiritual site is the years of cultural coexistance between the Malays, Chinese and Orang Asli traditions, despite the periods of fighting. Tok Ali Hassan is the gatekeeper at the entrance, guarding over all the other Datuk Kongs, all dressed in full Malay and Indian costumes with their accessories, at the main alter. This kind of spiritual cohesion is hard to find. Standing at the foot of the Jugra hill, facing the Langat river mouth in the south, one could imagine being in a classic Chinese ink painting (Shan shui, mountains and waters) and feeling connected to the metaphysical. This has a healing effect for me under the dark clouds of covid 19 pandemic. Looking for my way home. Thanks to Yik Han, Miao Kien and SFChan.
Join us on Facebook Live as we speak to director Victor Chin about the making of the documentary film ‘Five Tigers’, featured at the FreedomFilmFest in 2018. Learn more about the story of three women of the suppressed Malayan Labour Party and the human ties behind the facts of history, as well as the process of making the film and the art of cinematic narrative.
A short film, a simple exhibition and a small but warm crowd at the opening of Moved Out at REX KL last night. There will be a conversation with the artist Sat 27 at 11am and a walk with the artist, along Jalan Sultan, Kuala Lumpur, Sun 28 at 11 am The show goes on till 4 August. Do visit if you can. Please share.