‘Abominable’ won’t be screened in Malaysia over South China Sea map

Abominable was released in Vietnam, above, on October 4 but the country’s main cinema franchise CGV said it would no longer show the film after it was notified about the map. (AFP)
Updated 20 October 2019

‘Abominable’ won’t be screened in Malaysia over South China Sea map

  • The decision comes after Vietnam pulled the Universal Pictures movie from theaters days ago
  • The Philippines’ foreign secretary also called for the segment to be excised

KUALA LUMPUR: Animated film “Abominable” will not be shown in Malaysia after its distributor Sunday said it could not comply with censors’ demands to cut a controversial scene showing Beijing’s disputed claims in the South China Sea.
The decision comes after Vietnam pulled the Universal Pictures movie from theaters days ago and the Philippines’ foreign secretary called for the segment to be excised.
“Universal has decided not to make the censor cut required by the Malaysian censor board and as such will not be able to release the film in Malaysia,” United International Pictures Malaysia said in an email to AFP.
The animated film about a Chinese teenager helping a yeti return to his home shows a chart featuring the “nine-dash” line which sets out Beijing’s expansive claims to the flashpoint waters.
By including the U-shaped line, the movie — a joint production by Universal Pictures subsidiary DreamWorks and China’s Pearl Studio — has stumbled into a festering row that has long been a source of friction between Beijing and Southeast Asia.
Malaysia’s film censorship board chief Mohamad Zamberi Abdul Aziz had said that the movie — due for release on November 7 — could be screened in the country “with the condition that the map, which has become controversial, is removed.”
Beijing has based its claims to almost all the resource-rich South China Sea, which is home to important shipping routes, on historic documents. As well as the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan are rival claimants.
The movie was released in Vietnam on October 4 but the country’s main cinema franchise CGV said it would no longer show the film after it was notified about the map.
The cartoon also opened in Philippine cinemas earlier this month, with the adverse reaction not surfacing until later.
Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin said that “of course they should cut out the offending scene.”
A 2016 arbitral tribunal ruling said China’s claim was without basis, something Beijing has ignored.


‘Jetman’ stuns with Iron Man-style flight over Dubai

Updated 18 February 2020

‘Jetman’ stuns with Iron Man-style flight over Dubai

  • The Frenchman hovered above Dubai’s coast before shooting off into the air and skimming the city’s skyline
  • Daredevil Vince Reffet’s carbon fiber wings are powered by four mini jet engines

DUBAI: Daredevil Vince Reffet has soared into the skies above Dubai in the latest “Jetman” stunt, taking off from the ground and climbing to 1,800 meters in a feat reminiscent of Marvel’s “Iron Man” and hailed as a world first.
Reffet and his collaborators, known as “Jetmen,” have literally scaled new heights with the help of jetpacks and carbon-fire wings, staging a series of aerial displays that send them tearing through the skies at breakneck speed.
In an awe-inspiring flight captured on viral video, the Frenchman on Friday hovered five meters above the crystal waters of Dubai’s coast before shooting off into the air and skimming the city’s skyline.


“We accomplished another world first in 100 percent autonomous human flight with @jetmandubai, who took off from the ground before soaring to a high-altitude flight of up to 1,800m!” tweeted Expo 2020 Dubai, the mammoth trade fair that will open in October.
The Jetmen had previously launched themselves into the air by jumping down from high platforms.
“It’s the result of extremely thorough teamwork, where each small step generated huge results. Everything was planned to the split second, and I was overjoyed by the progress that was achieved,” Reffet said in a statement.
“One of the next objectives is to land back on the ground after a flight at altitude, without needing to open a parachute. It’s being worked on.”

Reffet’s carbon fiber wings are powered by four mini jet engines. The equipment, which is controlled by the pilot’s movements, is capable of reaching speeds of 400 kilometers per hour.
On Friday, Reffet hovered five meters above the crystal waters of Dubai’s coast before shooting off into the air and skimming the city’s skyline.
The Jetmen have pulled off a series of eye-popping flights in Dubai, soaring in tandem above the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa, and alongside an Emirates Airbus A380, the world’s largest commercial airplane.
Last year, Reffet and fellow Frenchman Fred Fugen also flew through the famed “Heaven’s Gate” archway in the mountains of China’s Hunan province.