GEORGE TOWN: Less than 24 hours after issuing a letter to cinemas in Penang not to screen the Malay movie Tanda Putera, the state government has issued another letter saying they were merely "advised" against screening the controversial movie, not to ban it.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the local authorities had inadvertently sent the earlier letter as a directive when the state executive council had decided that it would issue an advisory to cinemas planning to screen the movie.
"We will not stop any cinemas in Penang from screening the movie and the people are free to watch it.
"The earlier letter was issued upon the advice of the legal adviser of the Penang Municipal Council. The Seberang Prai Municipal Council followed suit and issued a similar letter to cinemas on the mainland," he told a press conference at his office here on Thursday.
State Local Government, Traffic Management and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said the hiccup in the issuance of the advisory to Penang cinemas was an oversight by local authorities.
He said the Penang Municipal Council’s legal adviser had felt that it was more appropriate to use the word "directed" instead of "advised" in the council’s letter to cinemas, as it had jurisdiction over cinemas under its Public Entertainment Enactments and bylaws."When the state executive council got to know about this, we advised both the municipal councils to issue another letter to say that they were merely advised not to screen the movie and that it was not a directive to ban it," he said.
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