Nurul Ain Abdul Karim.
Date of Issue1997
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
This story is set in the tumultuous 1950s, during a period where racial lines are clearly defined and ethnic differences are threatening to boil over. The background for the story is the Maria Hertogh controversy which had attracted more international attention than any other case in the history of Singapore. This incident marked a watershed in the relationship between Islamic law and the Colonial law, resulting in violent incidents and the loss of many innocent lives. This story tells the tale of two brothers on the opposite sides of the controversy. MUSTAQIM, an aspiring journalist in his mid-twenties, refuses to blow up the issue for fear of fermenting racial dissatisfaction. He prefers his reports to be objective and unprejudiced. His elder brother MUKRI, on the other hand, is a religious and racial fanatic who feels the need to “educate” the public about the English press’s blatant disrespect for Islam. He labels his brother as a coward and a traitor. Having chased Mustaqim out of the house, he orders his aging mother and his young sister not to have any contact with Mustaqim. Mukri’s involvement with a group of racial fanatics leads him to be part of three days of rioting which leads to the death of five people and hurts hundreds others. He barely escapes being arrested but not without Mustaqim’s intervention. Despite pleas from his mother and his sister, Mukri still refuses to believe his brother had helped him out. Instead, he believes that Mustaqim revealed the whereabouts of his accomplices, leading to their arrest. He orders his stooges to beat Mustaqim up. Mukri finally realises his mistake when it is proved that one of his men had betrayed them. He rushes to the hospital to seek his brother’s forgiveness.
Final Year Project (FYP)