Asean thoughts?-A A +A
By Nef Luczon
Monday, October 7, 2013
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- "Nur Misuari is the most narcissistic (Asean) person I have met," Norhaya, a Malaysian filmmaker, said in one of the conversations we had here, when she personally met him in a study tour in Mindanao some years back.
"He always talks (glorifies) about himself," she added.
When she said that, I know for a fact that I could not agree more. With the incident that happened recently, it's an affirmation to what she thought who Misuari is.
Although it can't also be taken out of the picture of the possible conspiracy theory of diverting public focus away from the current national issues like the pork barrel scam.
Norhaya is one of the Southeast Asian documentary filmmakers gathered in this once muddy area hundreds of years ago that became a metropolis of what a fellow Filipino, Joseph Israel Laban, would describe as "the progressive version of Mindanao."
Participants within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) gathered here and discussed ways to improve their documentary film projects with the help of DocNet Southeast Asia, which was mainly supported by a German based organization, the Goethe Institut.
But throughout the master classes, it was that curious look and queries regarding Sabah and Mindanao that brought intriguing conversations as far as I am aware every time Malaysian colleagues would ask, especially after knowing I'm from Mindanao.
"Do you (Filipinos) hate Malaysians because of what we did?" Norhaya's other Malaysian colleague asked in a polite yet concerned tone. She was referring to the recent incident that happened between some "Royal" armed troops under the Sultanate of Sulu. And it pays a lot of reading and researching so you can explain the context.
While interestingly, another Malaysian documentary filmmaker, Nova, is planning to highlight the "Tausug refugees" in Sabah, as he said they are growing in numbers and could almost supercede the Malay and Chinese majority there.
He said that these Tausugs came to Sabah because they can't find good jobs in Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and also because of ongoing conflict.
He said that their existence was quite an advantage to Malaysian politicians there as they will give them "temporary" voting permits however not necessarily becoming Malaysian Nationals.
These are some of the stories emerged when people within Southeast Asian nations converged to do dialogues, at least in the documentary filmmakers' perspectives.
There are also times you can't help spit out the not so pleasant visuals the Department of Tourism has suggested.
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Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 07, 2013.