PUTRAJAYA: Filmmakers and importers will soon have to dip deeper into their pockets to have their film certified by the Film Censorship Board.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the censorship fee would be reviewed after 30 years. He said the current rate was based on the Film Censorship Regulations 1984 that had not been amended since it came into force.
Since then, he said, the board had purchased various equipment and computerised systems and spent RM2.14mil to improve four viewing halls, including two halls equipped with digital technology to review 2D and 3D films.
“The number of local and imported films have been on the rise, thus increasing the burden on the board. Industry players must accept the reality that changes require a high cost and the costs borne by the Government is no longer fair.
“We have to charge a reasonable fee to those who produce and import films,” Dr Ahmad Zahid said at the board’s 60th anniversary celebration here yesterday. He also urged industry players to understand the board’s responsibility in ensuring that creative works by filmmakers were in harmony with moral values.
“Don’t just look to making a profit by producing films based on superstitions, toyol and ghost stories as we must balance art with social responsibility,” he stressed.
Commenting on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s speech at the National Press Club Awards Night 2014, Dr Ahmad Zahid concurred by saying that media practitioners must prioritise facts over perception in their reporting.
Najib, who was the guest of honour at the event on Monday, had called on journalists to practise a balance between media freedom and media responsibility.
“The Prime Minister was emphasising on new media approaches, especially the social media, which does not practise journalistic ethics and even used vulgarities in the name of press freedom.
“Whether the medium involved is conventional or social, ethics must be upheld and facts must be given a priority,” said Dr Ahmad Zahid.