Monday 24 September 2012

Section 17 water ‘infomercial’ shoot politically motivated, says PKR MP

UPDATED @ 04:59:09 PM 24-09-2012
September 24, 2012
‘Residents’ queue up with buckets to get water from a water tanker while a camera films them in action. — Pictures by Choo Choy May
PETALING JAYA, Sept 24 — A water shortage “infomercial” being shot in Happy Mansion, Section 17 here is believed to be linked to Selangor’s water issue and could be used in political campaigns later, PKR MP Hee Loy Sian said today.
 Residents woke up this morning to see a production crew filming the “infomercial”, using a cast of 200 people, most of whom are outsiders, outside the privately-owned apartment complex, with water tankers and banners calling for treated water instead of water from the dams.

“They said the commercial is to create awareness about the importance of water. But what I see today is different with trucks and water containers being used and this clearly shows a hidden agenda.

“I think this will be used in political campaigns later,” the Petaling Jaya Selatan MP told The Malaysian Insider when responding to residents’ complaints about the filming.

Hee (right) speaks to a resident about the filming of the infomercial.
A notice about the filming from 7am to 7pm today was pasted on the community noticeboard at the apartment complex in the leafy suburb.
 Resident Dr S. Paramananthan said the filming was disturbing their daily activities and he echoed speculation of a political motive in the commercial’s storyline.

“I suspect there are political motives due to the equipment and vehicles used in making the commercial,” he said.

A man, who said he was part of the production team, declined to explain the commercial, citing client confidentiality. He also asked that The Malaysian Insider refrain from reporting the filming.

Among the scenes being filmed include a crowd queuing to get water from a water tanker. There were also banners being held aloft during the filming. It is understood that the “infomercial” will be at least 40 seconds long.

The production company has also put up a tent and provided food for those involved in the filming.
Several residents who took part in the filming said they were paid RM50 each for their effort.

The chairman of the Happy Mansion residents committee, who identified himself only as Andrew, said the apartment management board also received RM7,500 for approval to conduct the filming at the place.

“The management received RM7,500 from the producers. It is for our joint funds but we don’t know the aim of this commercial here,” he said.

“I didn’t think there would be many people here for this and this has caused unhappiness among the people here. This might be the first and last time we will give permission to film,” he added.

Putrajaya, the mainstream media and Selangor Barisan Nasional (BN) have been playing up reports of a water shortage in the country’s richest state in the run-up to the next general election, which must be held by the middle of 2013.

But Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government has disputed the claims, saying the issue was the treatment plants managed by state water concessionaire Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas).

Syabas has insisted that a water shortage was in the offing and that the first-term state government must approve the Langat 2 water treatment plant to avert a crisis by 2014.

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