Finas licence requirement for all film production unreasonable, says Anwar

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 23 Jul 2020

PETALING JAYA: The requirement of a Finas licence for all film production is a worrying and unreasonable development, says Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar asked why this step was necessary as the general ruling would affect users of social media platforms such as YouTube, TikTok and Instagram.

"This ruling is unreasonable and is a step backwards. At the same time, the government feels it is supporting freedom of expression. Does it make sense?" he asked.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah had told the Dewan Rakyat that all film production, whether from media outlets or personal media on traditional platforms or even social media, require a licence.

Separately, the Foreign Correspondents Club of Malaysia (FCCM) said it was unaware of any requirement to obtain permission from Finas for a news video production.

It said whether it is termed a documentary or otherwise, such material broadcast on news channels have not previously needed any clearance from Finas, be they for foreign or local news agencies.

"Various news documentaries have been produced by and aired on television channels both local - including state media - and foreign, without this issue ever cropping up before. That the matter has now escalated into criminal investigations is alarming given the wide swathe of news workers that have made video productions in the past," it said in a statement.

FCCM said it has written to the minister to clarify if members of the media and employees press corps are now bound by rules and regulations that apply to

film and documentary makers, as such an action would have far-reaching consequences.

"We have also expressed our willingness to engage in dialogue over this and other matters concerning the press that have become matters of widespread public interest of late," they said.

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