KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Censorship Board should be reined in for playing moral guardian over what movies can be screened here, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said.
The Tourism and Culture Minister said he was informed that the board is considering banning the children's action movie Power Rangers just as the hue and cry ends over its attempt to make cuts in Disney's live-action film Beauty and the Beast.
"I am really depressed with what's happening with our censorship board.
"We never appointed the censorship board to be our moral guardian," he told reporters at a press conference held at the Parliament media room Tuesday.
He was asked to comment on the issue related to a minor scene in the movie, where Yellow Ranger Trini (Becky G) is coming to terms with her sexual orientation.
The scene shows one character assuming she's having "boyfriend problems," and soon realises that perhaps she's actually having "girlfriend problems".
Nazri said that rather than place a blanket ban on such movies, the censorship board could classify it as PG13, which would require parental guidance for those below 13.
"As parents, we are the ones in the best position to decide.
"Who is the censorship board to impose a blanket ban and to say it is not good for children," he added.
Nazri noted that the censorship board's action is more counter-productive as it would draw attention to the scenes in the movies.
He cited the controversy over the gay scene in Beauty and the Beast.
"I watched the scene and would not have known it.
"All I saw was a guy dancing in an effeminate way, lifting his shirt up to show a love bite, and I laughed it off," he said.
He added that the age of the Internet would also not stop Malaysians from viewing movies online.
"I appeal to the censorship board to reconsider its decision on the Power Rangers movie," he added.
He said the views expressed by the censorship board do not reflect those of Malaysia nor would it affect tourism, adding that tourists come to the country for its cultural diversity, food and sunshine.
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