Minister criticized for saying all filming including personal social media require a license from the government

Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah

KUALA LUMPUR JULY 23: Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah has been heavily criticised for saying all film production for media outlets including mainstream media, personal media, or even social media requires a Film Production License and Film Shooting Certificate (SSP),

MalaysiaKini quoted Lawyer Haniff Khatri Abdulla saying that the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) Act 1981 was drafted to regulate the film industry, not social media.

According to Malay Mail, several content creators expressed anxiety for their future prospects and livelihood in the industry at what they see as an “absurd” blanket ruling and called on the government to explain plainly the far-reaching consequences of the licensing policy.

“Such policy is not applicable for content creators or regular social media users like you and me. It is absurd to put such blanket ruling on everyone, a strong reaction because of Al Jazeera’s 101 East news video report,” said Norman Goh who runs a podcast series that features local public figures and society leaders called Bicara Minggu Ini.

PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil has demanded the resignation of Communications and Multimedia Minister Saifuddin Abdullah after “three major missteps” including the latest controversy surrounding film licence requirements under the law.

This was in response to Communications and Multimedia Minister Saifuddin Abdullah, who told the Dewan Rakyat today it is mandatory for “mainstream and personal” media to have a Finas licence to publish work on “social media and traditional channels”.

The Ministry through the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) monitors film activities in its efforts to preserve and develop the film industry based on the Finas Act 1981.

Saifuddin said Section 22(1) of the Finas Act reads that no one can take part in any activities to produce, distribute or broadcast any film unless a license is issued to the person,” said Saifuddin in his reply to Wong Shu Qi (PH Kluang) during the Ministerial Question Time at the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (July 23).

Wong raised the question to the Ministry of whether it is compulsory for those who produce film to apply for the Production License and SSP.

Wong also asked the Minister whether it would affect people who use social media platforms such as Intagram TV or Tik Tok.

Saifuddin said Section 2 of the Finas Act reads that film includes feature films, short films, trailers, advertising “filmlets” and any recording on the material of any kind, including videotapes and video discs of moving images, accompanied or unaccompanied by sound, and documentaries for the viewing of the public.

He said, the government encourages everyone including individuals or organisations to produce any film but must be according to the law.

To a supplementary question raised by Fahmi Fadzil (PH-Lembah Pantai) of whether Dr. Dustin Pfundheller who produced a documentary that was aired on Bernama TV had any license issued by the government.

Saifuddin said, he will leave it to the authorities and if there is any complaint then action will be taken according to the law and depending on the case. –Malaysia World News

Graduate with a Master of Mass Communication. 10 years working experience in the media and broadcasting.

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