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What Did Saifuddin Actually Say In Parliament About FINAS?

What Did Saifuddin Actually Say In Parliament About FINAS?

There’s been a lot of chatter about what the Information Minister said, so here’s a transcript.

Tasneem Nazari

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After the government decided to take action against Al Jazeera through FINAS, the public and politicians have been calling for an explanation on the law being used. But, what did Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah actually say when he was asked about this in Parliament?

Here’s the full transcript from Parliament on the question Saifuddin was asked, and his reply (Translated from BM).

Wong Shu Qi (Kluang): Thank you, Tuan Yang di-Pertua. Kluang would like to ask the Minister of Communications and Multimedia to state whether all film producers must apply for a film production license and filming certificate, regardless if they are mainstream media agencies or private individuals who are publishing their films onto either social media or traditional platforms.

Saifuddin Abdullah: Thank you Tuan Yang di-Pertua. Thank you Honorable Member for your question. The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia through FINAS functions to regulate film activities to preserve and develop the national film industry based on the Malaysian National Film Development Corporation Act 1981 or Act 244 and the by-laws under it.

The Corporation issues three types of licenses to the film industry. That is, first, film and video production licenses. Second, film and video distribution licenses. And third, film and video exhibition licenses.

Referring to Section 22(1) of the Act, no person shall participate in any activity involving the production, distribution, and exhibition of films or any combination of the activities specified, unless a license is issued authorising him to do so.

FINAS also receives, processes, and issues Certificates Of Filming (SPP), Certificate of Advertising Made in Malaysia (MIM), and Foreign Worker Support Letters (PFA).

According to Condition (1), Additional Conditions for Film Production Licneses under Regulation 4 of the Malaysian National Film Development Corporation (Licensing) 1983, which is enforced, the licensee, if filming, must inform the corporation no later than seven days before filming begins, through a specific form issued by the corporation. Once submitted, a filming certificate (SPP) will be issued by the corporation.

In this regard, film producers must apply for a film production license and film certification letter (SPP) regardless of whether they are from a mainstream media agency or personal media that publishes films on social media platforms or traditional channels.

Wong Shu Qi: Thank you, Datuk Speaker. Thank you for the answer. I ask the Minister to clarify on the case where Al Jazeera is being regulated by Section 22(1) of the FINAS Act 1981, which is the Section mentioned by the Minister earlier, on whether the assessment of “film” mentioned in this FINAS Act, includes all films, including TikTok or IGTV, or all those which are distributed on social media.

Because, if this act is enforced in the manner which it is now, that would mean all social media users would be required to apply for a license from FINAS. So, I ask the minister to give a clear explanation on this to all Malaysians. Thank you.

Saifuddin: The interpretation of “film” under Section 2 of the Malaysia National Film Development Corporation Act 1981, amendment 2013, reads as follows: Films include movies, short films, short subject films, trailers, documentaries, advertisements, and other recordings on any type of material including flash video and video clips in the form of moving pictures, regardless of whether accompanied by sound or not, for the viewing of the public or any audience.

Tuan Yang di-Pertua, we do encourage everyone, whether big or small, young or old, individuals or organisations, to produce any kind of film as I quoted earlier, as long as it is in accordance with the law, and encourages us to be transparent. As an example, we do provide government based grants, such as digital content funding and we have FIMI – film in Malaysia initiative, if I may. They are all subject to existing regulations.

Fahmi Fadzil (Lembah Pantai): Thank you Honorable Minister, but I believe this does not answer the question on whether Instagram Live and so on are subject to this matter. I would like to ask for an explanation from the Honorable Minister, did Dr Dustin Pfundheller, who produced the video The Other Side of The Truth, shared by BernamaTV on social media, obtain a license to produce the documentary. Please comment. Thank you.

Saifuddin: Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I leave this to the authorities. If there are complaints and so on, we may take legal action, depending on a case to case basis. Thank you.

Here’s a recording of the question and answer session on the topic from the Parliamentary session on 23 July 2020.

Bahasa Malaysia Transcripts

In case you were curious to see what the English transcripts were translated from, the BM version of the transcripts are below.

Wong Shu Qi (Kluang): Terima Kasih Tuan Yang di-Pertua, Kluang minta menteri Komunikasi dan Multimedia menyatakan sama ada semua penerbit filem wajib memohon lesen pengeluaran filem serta surat perakuan penggambaran tidak kira mereka adalah agensi media arus perdana atau media individu, personal media, yang menerbitkan filem di platform media sosial atau saluran tradisi.

Saifuddin Abdullah: Terima kasih Tuan Yang-diPertua. Terima kasih ahli yang Berhormat yang bertanya. Kementerian Komunikasi dan Multimedia melalui FINAS berfungsi bagi mengawal selia aktiviti perfileman melalui usaha memelihara dan memajukan industri perfileman negara berdasarkan Akta Perbadanan Kemajuan Filem Nasional Malaysia 1981 atau Akta 244 dan perundangan – perundangan kecil di bawahnya.

Perbadanan mengeluarkan tiga jenis lesen kepada industri perfileman. Iaitu pertama, lesen pengeluaran filem dan video. Kedua, lesen pengedaran filem dan video. Dan ketiga, ialah lesen pameran filem dan video.

Merujuk kepada akta tersebut, Seksyen 22(1), tiada seseorang boleh mengambil bahagian dalam mana-mana aktiviti mengeluar, mengedar, dan mempamer filem-filem atau mana-mana gabungan aktiviti-aktiviti yang dinyatakan dalam Seksyen 22(1), melainkan jika suatu lesen dikeluarkan yang memberi kuasa kepadanya untuk berbuat demikian.

FINAS juga menerima, memproses, dan mengeluarkan Surat Pengakuan Penggambaran (SPP), Sijil Filem Iklan Buatan Malaysia (MIM) dan Surat Sokongan Kemasukan Pekerja Asing (PFA).

Melalui Syarat (1), Syarat-syarat Tambahan Lesen Pengeluaran Filem dibawah Peraturan-peraturan 4 Perbadanan Kemajuan Filem Nasional Malaysia (Pelesenan) 1983, yang dikuat kuasakan, pemegang lesen, jika membuat penggambaran filem, hendaklah memaklumkan kepada perbadanan tidak lewat dari tujuh hari sebelum membuat penggambaran sesuatu filem dimulakan, melalui borang tertentu yang dikeluarkan oleh perbadanan, dengan penghantaran borang tersebut, Surat Perakuan Penggambaran (SPP) akan dikeluarkan oleh perbadanan.

Sehubungan dengan itu, penerbit filem wajib memohon lesen pengeluaran filem serta Surat Perakuan Penggambaran (SPP) tidak kira mereka adalah agensi media arus perdana atau media personal yang menerbitkan filem di platform media sosial atau saluran tradisi.

Wong Shu Qi: Terima kasih Datuk Speaker. Terima kasih atas jawapan. Saya minta Menteri menjelaskan tentang kes yang Al Jazeera dikuatkuasa dengan Seksyen 22(1) Akta FINAS 1981 iaitu Seksyen yang Menteri sebut tadi. Taksiran filem itu, sama ada taksiran filem itu yang disebutkan dalam Akta FINAS ini, merangkumi semua filem, termasuk TikTok atau IGTV, yang semua dipamer dalam media sosial atau tidak. 

Kerana kalau akta ini dikuatkuasa dengan apa yang berlaku sekarang maksudnya semua pengguna media sosial perlu mohon lesen dari finas, jadi minta menteri memberi satu penjelasan yang jelas kepada seluruh rakyat malaysia. Terima kasih.

Saifuddin: Tafsiran filem dibawah seksyen 2 akta perbadanan kemajuan filem nasional malaysia 1981 pindaan 2013 berbunyi seperti berikut. 

Filem-filem termasuk filem cerita, filem pendek, filem subjek ringkas, trailer, dokumentari, filem kecil iklan, dan apa-apa rakaman pada apa-apa jenis bahan, termasuk pitar video dan ceper video berupa arca-arca bergerak, sama ada disertai dengan bunyi atau tidak, untuk dilihat oleh orang ramai atau mana-mana golongan orang ramai. 

Tuan yang di-Pertua, kita memang menggalakkan semua orang, kecil-besar, tua-muda, individu atau organisasi, untuk mengeluarkan apa-apa jenis filem seperti yang saya petik tadi, asalkan ia mengikut undang-undang yang ada, dan galakkan kita adalah telus sebagai contoh. Dengan itu, kita ada geran-geran yang disediakan oleh kerajaan. Kita ada dana kandungan digital, kita ada FIMI – Film In Malaysia Initiative, dengan izin. Semua itu tertakluk kepada peraturan yang sedia ada. 

Fahmi Fadzil (Lembah Pantai): Terima kasih Yang Berhormat Menteri, tapi saya rasa tak menjawab sama ada Instagram Live dan sebagainya, adakah mereka tertakluk dibawah perkara ini. Cuma saya ingin mohon penjelasan daripada Yang Berhormat Menteri, adakah Dr Dustin Pfundheller yang menghasilkan video The Otherside of The Truth yang di share oleh BernamaTV dalam media sosial, adakah beliau mempunyai lesen untuk menghasilkan dokumentari tersebut, bahan tersebut. Mohon pandangan, Terima kasih.

Saifuddin: Terima kasih Tuan Yang di-Pertua, yang ini saya serahkan kepada pihak penguasa. Sekiranya ada aduan dan sebagainya kita akan mengambil tindakan mengikut undang-undang dan bergantung kepada sesuatu kes. Terima kasih. 


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