Communications Ministry verifying Al Jazeera's licence, accreditation

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 19 Jul 2020

KUANTAN (Bernama): The Communications and Multimedia Ministry is checking if the controversial documentary "Locked Up In Malaysia's Lockdown" by international media Al Jazeera was licensed by the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) before it began production, says its minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

He said the company or production team involved needed to get permission from Finas as it was a requirement for the production of films and documentaries in the country.

His ministry, he said, through the Information Department would also be checking whether Al Jazeera met accreditation conditions in shooting the documentary.

"For Finas it is simple, that is, whether you have a licence or not. It's ok if there is a licence but if there is no licence, it is then considered an offence,” he told reporters after the launching of the Nation of Women (NOW) Pahang here Sunday (July 19), which was also attended by NOW president Haniza Talha and Finas chairman Zakaria Abd Hamid.

Commenting further, Saifuddin said the Information Department would be checking if there was a violation of the accreditation conditions.

"If this international media organisation is found infringing the accreditation conditions, we will proceed to cancel its accreditation facilities upon obtaining the findings of police's investigations. With the revocation of accreditation facilities, its (Al Jazeera's) crew are not free to go anywhere without the (media) cards issued by the Information Department,” he said.

The 25-minute 50-second documentary alleged that illegal immigrants in the country were mistreated as Malaysia was implementing measures to address the spread of Covid-19.

After it was aired, many Malaysians voiced outrage that it falsely depicted the country and a slew of police reports were lodged against Al Jazeera.

Police subsequently interviewed a number of people from Al Jazeera to assist their investigations into the controversial documentary.

Meanwhile, regarding NOW, Haniza said the non-governmental organisation (NGO) is targeting to increase its membership to 50,000 from about 30,000 currently.

She said the NGO has members from various races, political beliefs and expertise and hoped that the diversity could be used for the benefit of its members.

Earlier in his speech, Saifuddin offered NOW to work with the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), to enable members participate in online marketing related training. - Bernama

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