Power and The Arts


The arts are powerful tools of expression. The impact of a film or a song can be so significant that governments find it hard to stay away. Finding a balance between encouraging the arts but without politicising them is a difficult but necessary duty.

As the heated controversies over the recent movie “Tanda Putera” which depicted the May 13, 1969 riots demonstrates (even before being publicly screened), art can have a tremendous impact on the national psyche. The movie was accused in online media for portraying a racially skewed version of what transpired and who the agitators were.

Although this particular film may not be the best example, throughout history, art has sought to present penetrating perspectives on life. Where policies and political campaigns fail to capture public imagination, art can assume roles that are more effective; it can be the conscience, the detractor, the sarcastic commentator or the teacher.

To read the rest of the article and to access our e-Archive, subscribe to us for RM150 a year.

Related Articles

Jun 2013

Selangor remains Pakatan's stronghold

An analysis on the GE13 outcome in the state of Selangor.

May 2013

An Election by Manifesto

An analysis of the promises given by the Penang and Selangor state governments in their respective manifestos.

Apr 2013

What Will a Second Term Mean for Penang and Selangor?

What policies should the Pakatan state governments focus on in their second term?