Putrajaya has put a ban on the film Mentega Terbang from being shown in cinemas and its publicity materials due to its controversial content.
Putrajaya has banned the locally produced film Mentega Terbang from being screened in Malaysia today (13 September).
Malay Mail reported that the ban follows the publication of a government gazette, Film Censorship (Prohibition) Order 2023, signed by Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail and published on 1 September.
Under the Order, the ban includes film-publicity materials.
In exercise of the powers conferred by section 26 of the Film Censorship Act 2002 (Act 620), the Minister makes the following order. The Minister prohibits the exhibition, display, distribution, possession, circulation or sale of the film described in the Schedule which is contrary to public interest throughout Malaysia.The gazette reads.
What is Mentega Terbang about?
Directed by Khairi Anwar, Mentega Terbang was released in 2021 and was shown in private screenings. At the same time, the filmmakers worked with the film censorship board (LPF) behind the scenes to get approval to be publicly screened in local cinemas.
The film could not be publicly screened in local cinemas due to its discussion about faith and could be seen as blasphemous against Islam.
The story is about a 15-year-old girl named Aishah who becomes curious about faith and the different depictions of life after death in various religions due to her mother’s declining health.
Mentega Terbang was temporarily shown on Viu but was taken down after complaints from several parties such as the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and the Islamic Religious Department of the Federal Territory (JAWI).
Director Khairi Anwar also issued a Letter of Demand to author and scriptwriter Zabidi Mohamed, who claimed Mentega Terbang was promoting apostasy among Muslims in Malaysia.
Although the film wasn’t welcomed in Malaysia, it was received well in Indonesia at the 2021 Jogja Asian Film Festival-NETPAC (2021 JAFF).