Monday, August 31, 2009

Deleted from victors' history: The other freedom fighters

Ex-members of CPM feel aggrieved that they are being demonised although they too played a major role in achieving independence.

In view of the nation’s 52nd Merdeka, Malaysiakini recently visited one such communist ‘peace village’ in Sukhirin, southern Thailand, to talk to some of these battle-hardened “communist insurgents” on their role in gaining independence.

Full story in

Deleted from victors' history: The other freedom fighters from Indrani Kopal on Vimeo.

Reported by K Kabilan
Produced by Maran Perianen
Edited by Indrani Kopal
Voice Over by Nick Josh Karean

Monday, August 10, 2009

In memory of Teoh Beng Hock

Silent outrage at Teoh's funeral from Indrani Kopal on Vimeo.

I wasn't there for the funeral, I was just a video editor who edited the footage that our camera crew shot. I spend 8 hours editing the videos from the beginning of the ceremony till the end ... if you have watched the video, you probably would have been moved by the music and the treatment given to the video ... it was my personal tribute for the family and his fiancee... but that wasn't the reality, the reality in the video was different.

I feel the whole event was so aspect that I did not like abt the service was the way the cameras were clicking away non-stop and video crews was trying to violate every little privacy that the family was trying to cherish ... all the famous faces and figure stealing the limelight ... but from another aspect, ... I was really moved with the turned out of the crowd ... hundreds of people who came to pay their last respect to someone they probably never even knew in person ... I think that itself was a very strong message!

Indrani Kopal

High Chaparral: The tale of the villagers

High Chaparral: The tale of the villagers from Indrani Kopal on Vimeo.

High Chaparral: The tale of the villagers
Produced by Indrani Kopal

For the past few months, the story of once little known Kampung Buah Pala on the island of Penang and its inhabitants have seemed to be the only talk of the island.

Also popularly known as 'Tamil High Chaparral' to Penangites due to its traditional population of cowherds, this old settlement is located at the heart of the rapidly developing eastern part of Georgetown.

The plight of the Kampung Buah Pala villagers hit the headlines recently after they received a court order to vacate their old village of which three generations have lived to make way for a modern condominium.

Local historians claim the village had existed for more than 150 years. It was part of a large coconut plantation owned by the family of a Margaret Brown.

Certainly there seems to be a document testifying that Margaret Brown had stated before leaving for Britain that the land is to be left to the people who were living and working there. This was in 1938. The current residents are believed to be descendents of the original settlers.

Because of this bit of history, there are parties who are pushing for Kampung Buah Pala to be gazetted as heritage property. It’s perhaps the only way to save this village from certain disappearance.

Malaysiakini visited the village to document for posterity a peace of history that is about to be wiped out in one fell swoop.

We were expecting to see a large settlement of 300 villagers, in 33 houses with 50 or more families living harmoniously in a highly cultured village because it was referred to as a model Tamil Hindu settlement, with a traditional population of cowherds and many other essences of Tamil heritage.

But we were disappointed. There wasn’t even an ‘old’ Hindu temple central to a Tamil settlement.

Kampung Buah Pala in reality is a stretch of road lined by less than 30 houses standing next to modern residential properties.

The hey-day of a bustling coconut plantation population has certainly left Kampung Buah Pala many, many years ago.