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Tuesday, June 22, 1999 Published at 23:20 GMT 00:20 UK

World: Asia-Pacific

New Connery film 'distorts' Malaysia

The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, has sharply criticised a new Hollywood movie on the grounds that it gives a distorted view of his country.

The film, Entrapment, stars the British actor Sean Connery and was shot partially in Malaysia.

Dr Mahathir said he was particularly offended by scenes in which the world's tallest building -- the Petrona Towers in Kuala Lumpur -- are depicted rising above the slums of an entirely different city Malacca.

He said audiences abroad would conclude that Malaysia was one of those countries which wasted public money and foreign aid on grandiose, but useless monuments. The BBC correspondent in Kuala Lumpur says the only effect of the prime minister's remarks will probably be to encourage Malaysians to go and see the film.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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