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International news outlet Al Jazeera has dismissed claims made by the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) in regards to the requirement of a license to film and air the Locked Up In Malaysia’s Lockdown documentary.
What you need to know: The production of films and documentaries in Malaysia requires a permit from Finas. However, Al Jazeera notes that according to Finas’ own definition, the show on which the documentary was aired- 101 East– as a weekly current affairs show does not fall into the category of film requiring a licence.
Additionally, Al Jazeera asserts that this is a gambit by Malaysian authorities because they are unable to contest the integrity of the news outlet’s journalism.
As such, they do not believe that this requirement is a credible line of argument, and have dismissed the contradictory requirement.
Why it matters: It turns out that anything that regular netizens post online is illegal. As mentioned by constitutional lawyer Lim Wei Jiet, if Finas interprets the law to define “films” as “any” video content made for public viewing, then all videos on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and even TikTok made in Malaysia by Malaysians will require permits.
Now, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah insists that all production of films and recording regardless of media agencies or personal individuals must apply for a license.
Who said what: Al Jazeera took to Twitter to release their statement over their stance and their take of the situation currently.
All film producers must apply for Finas licence even for social media, multimedia minister insists [Malay Mail]
Al Jazeera’s License And Accreditation With Finas To Be Checked By Communications Ministry [TRP]
If Al Jazeera’s Documentary Was Illegal, So Is Any Other Malaysian Video Content, Says Lawyer [TRP]
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.