Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Ellie Suriaty Omar
The award winning actress and director Ellie Suriaty Omar talks theSun about why she is supporting the former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, through their crisis and her aspiration to direct two more horror movie
Headline: Courting Controversy
By Bissme S
Ellie Suriaty Omar will be the first to admit that she is a “wild child”. The award-winning actress cum director has been in the news for being a fierce supporter of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
Ellie was also very vocal about justice for the couple when the two were brought to court to face charges of money-laundering. In a recent exclusive interview, Ellie explained that she has a right to support whoever she wants and will stand by her beliefs despite what others say.
Question : Why Najib and Rosmah, who are now facing multiple charges of graft?
Why not? I have done my research. The unity among races was well celebrated under [Najib’s] administration. The World Bank said that he managed to raise [Malaysia’s] economic value in his nine years as prime minister, and considered him as one of the best finance ministers in Asia.
Rosmah is into helping handicapped children. [I feel] the two have been treated unfairly. People have been telling lies about them. They kept repeating the lies, until the lies became the truth.
This is the same propaganda tool that the Nazis used during WWII. Najib is a model leader that has been shot down by the perception war.
* Do you really believe Najib and his wife are innocent?
Yes. The hundred bags that were found in their house were not hers. They belonged to her friend. Najib had explained that his money came from the Saudi royals who were impressed with the way he had run our country. Najib has been transparent about his money.
*Some people said you have been paid to support Najib.
(Laughs) I became an Umno member after the fall of Barisan Nasional. Now, nobody wants to hire me. I have suffered a loss of income.
Why should I be punished for my political beliefs?
Some have even attacked my character. They called me all kinds of names. I refrained from doing that. I fight my detractors with facts and figures.
* Some think you are being delusional for supporting Najib.
Am I delusional? Are you telling me in the 61 years of running the country, Barisan Nasional (BN) has not done anything good for the country? Are you telling me the new government is totally free from corruption and misappropriation?
Look at how the attorney general handled cases against Rafizi Ramli and Lim Guan Eng. “I will not be against Pakatan Harapan (PH) if it can govern the country properly, but it is not doing a good job.
Why do you dislike PH so much?
When PH came into power, there were ministers who gave statements in Mandarin and Tamil language. We have an attorney general who speaks in English.
I respect other people’s languages but it is in our Constitution that our national language is Bahasa Malaysia, and we should respect that.
You also have a Malay Muslim leader who suggested condoms should be used to combat social issues. It is making Islam too liberal, and that is not good for the country. The PH also wanted to interfere in matters pertaining to the Syariah courts.
* What is your hope for the next election?
I want people not to become a victim of a marketing ploy. Before the election, PH promised to get rid of the tolls. Has it done it? No. Before the election, PH promised you would no longer need to pay back your PTPTN (national higher education loan) if you earn less than RM4,000. Has it fulfilled this promise? No.
*Has you husband (actor Azri Iskandar) ever tried to stop you from being so vocal about your beliefs?
No. He understands my motivation. My children (son Azreal, 14, and daughter Azrin, nine) are also aware of the nasty things that people are saying about me.
But I teach my children to be strong and to have a huge personality, and to stand up for what they believe in.
*So, what is happening with your career?
The creative industry does not have an age limit. I can always come back to act when I am 80 [as long as I am still] alive. I am still writing. I will take whatever is thrown at me positively. I will also be directing two films in near future (she declined to name the production company behind them).
I miss directing so much. I am so eager to direct. Both will be horror films. One will be on the Pontianak, and the other will have some comedy elements.
*The first film you directed, Penanggal (2013), was also a horror film. You seem to like this genre.
I love the mysterious and psychological part of a horror tale. Most people believe horror films are all about jumps scares. But there is a lot of subtext hidden in a horror film. I also love playing with lighting and the horror genre allows me to do that.