KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 — The cars belonging to director Khairi Anwar Jailani and scriptwriter Arjun Thanaraju of controversial film Mentega Terbang were vandalised this morning.
Twitter user Hadi Azmi tweeted four photos of the duo’s vehicle which showed the extent of the damage, as well as five placards with death threats directed at them and their families.
Their lawyer Zaid Malek, told Malay Mail that both Khairi and Arjun have lodged a police report on the incident this morning.
“Khairi’s car was splashed with paint and Arjun’s car was splashed with paint as well as some sort of corrosive substance as well.
“On both of the cars, they found some placards that say something along the lines that the film Mentega Terbang is insulting Islam,” Zaid said.
He added that Khairi had also received a text message from an unknown number telling him that ‘today it’s your car, after this if I see you on the streets, I’ll get you’.
Khairi received the text while he was lodging the police report about his vandalised car and immediately showed it to his police officer, filing a separate police report after.
Paint and acid thrown on Mentega Terbang director and actor's cars by assailants who also left death threats against them and family. pic.twitter.com/dvK0y4hWvf— Hadi Azmi (@amerhadiazmi) March 16, 2023
“The thing that is highly concerning about this is because we’ve been cooperating with the police.
“We’ve given all information as requested and then, we’re not insinuating anything, but we have to ask the question, how did the assailants find out where they live? They even knew which one was their car when they went to the house. This is unacceptable.
“So what now? How are they going to be protected from this sort of attack from these overzealous religious conservatives who definitely think these people are public enemies number one,” he said.
Zaid also pointed out that since Mentega Terbang made headlines, there have been constant attacks on the cast and crew online, however no report nor investigation has been conducted on the individuals concerned.
“I thought the Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil was all about going into social media to make sure there are no elements of conservatism to be spread but you know, this is what’s been happening to my clients.
“There’re also some statements from government agencies and ministers about the film itself but where are the statements to tell the public not to attack or physically harm any of the cast and crew of Mentega Terbang?” he said.
Zaid also said that although some may not agree with the content of the film, the cast and crew should not be harassed like this.
“What measure of protection is the government going to give to these members of the creative community? They did nothing wrong, they just made a movie.
“The movie has been out for a while now. It’s just certain elements that have been sensationalised for either political gain or personal gain but the government has done nothing and now the cast and crew are in danger.”
Yesterday, members of the cast and crew of Mentega Terbang gave their statements at the Dang Wangi district police headquarters, following Arjun and Khairi who were summoned by the police a week earlier to Bukit Aman police headquarters following reports made against the film.