I was called a ‘government dog’

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KUALA LUMPUR: His movie trailer may have been only 90-seconds long.

However, for some, it was enough to label actor Zizan Nin a government stooge for his role in the controversial movie, Tanda Putera.

The 37-year-old is set to appear as Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman, the deputy prime minister whose friendship with premier Tun Abdul Razak Hussein forms the backbone of the movie.

The movie, which tells of the friendship between the two men, as well as the challenges they faced in running a new multi-racial country, has sparked controversy even before it has been screened in cinemas.

Pro-Opposition supporters have denounced the film as a ‘propaganda tool’ to sway public opinion in Barisan Nasional’s favour ahead of the coming general election. DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang has also not spared any criticism of the film. He was also alleged to have been featured in the film, a claim which was denied by movie director Shuhaimi Baba.

However, it appears that ill-will by Opposition supporters towards the movie has even extended to the actors themselves. Following the release of the movie’s trailer last month, Zizan was reportedly subjected to abuse on his Twitter page

Zizan reluctantly admitted that he was on the receiving end of severe criticism for taking up the role.

“I don’t really want to say anything about this controversy; whatever needs to be said has already been explained by the director,” he said.

However, when pressed, he admitted that he was taken aback by the abuse he received on social networking sites.

“I experienced some unpleasant moments on Twitter. I was called a ‘government dog’ for taking up the role,” he said.

However, Zizan said he was okay with it, and accepted is as part of his job.

“As an actor, I have to be professional. I’m basically immune to these criticism, even if this is the perception of only a small group.

“I didn’t even block those who abused me,” he quipped.

This isn’t the first time Zizan is playing the role of a real-life politician. He played former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in the theatre production, Tun Mahathir The Musical two years ago.

Tanda Putera, made at a cost of RM4.8 million by Persona Pictures Sdn Bhd and Finas, will be released nationwide on Nov 15.

— MDigest