A younger censorship board

  • Nation
  • Friday, 25 Dec 2009

PUTRAJAYA: For the first time ever, the Film Censorship Board will have members aged below 55.

Of the 16 new members appointed yesterday, four were from the pri­­vate sector — the youngest being a kindergarten teacher aged 31.

The four are from different back­grounds — apart from kindergarten teacher Kisyanda Mariz Mohamed, there was lecturer Normazila Kamalu­din, 53, bank manager Abd Raof Ab­­dullah, 46, and scriptwriter Jaafar Sam­­son, 60.

Previously, the practice was to appoint only retired senior civil servants to the board.

Home Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Mahmood Adam said the mix of different backgrounds, races and ages of the new members on the Film Censorship Board would also help in promoting self-regulation in the industry.

He said the first step was to come up with a new set of censorship guide­­lines after consulting all relevant parties.

This was expected to be implemented early next year.

He said input from the board members and the public would be incorporated into the guidelines to decide the do’s and the don’ts in local films.

“Scriptwriters, directors and producers can then use it as a guide in their work so that we can minimise scrutiny from the board itself,” he told a press conference after handing out appointment letters to the new members here.

Also appointed were six associate board members who will advise the board.

The six are Malaysia Screenwri-ters Association president Ismail Ah­­mad, Film Directors Association president Ahmad Ibrahim, Malaysia Profes­sional Film Workers Asso­ciation pre­sident Khir Mohd Nor, Urusan ABC Communication direc­­­tor Mokh­­­­tar Abu Bakar, former Film Censor­ship Board member Siva­­ji Rajah, and Malaysia Indian Musical Arts Society president Gunaseelan Munusamy.

Film Censorship Board chairman Datuk Mohd Hussain Shafie meanwhile said that being a full-time member was not “all fun” as the board normally goes through 30,000 titles, including films and advertisements, annually.

“One cannot choose what film to watch. It is a form of national service. They work full-time, meaning they have to resign from their current jobs in the private sector.

“They get an allowance, have no EPF and no career advancement,” he said.

It is learnt that each full-time member gets a monthly allowance of RM4,750 while associate members get RM300 per meeting.

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