Producer of controversial film Babi charged with unlicensed production

PETALING JAYA (Bernama): The producer of the controversial film Babi has been charged in a Magistrate's Court here with participating in its production, and promoting it through posters, without a licence from the National Film Development Corporation (Finas).

Toh Han Boon, 35, claimed trial when the charge was read out to him in Bahasa Malaysia before Magistrate Muhammad Iskandar Zainol on Wednesday (July 21).

He was accused of committing the offence at Jalan PJU 7/8, Mutiara Damansara here, on Nov 18, according to Section 22 (1) of the Finas Act 1981 (Act 244-Amendment 2013) punishable under Section 25 (1) of the same act which carries a maximum fine of RM50,000 or imprisonment of up to two years or both, if convicted.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Zamriah Zarifah Aris offered bail of RM8,000 with one surety and an additional condition that the accused submit his passport to the court and report to the nearest police station once a month until the trial is completed.

In mitigation, lawyer Mohd Haijan Omar who represented Toh objected to the bail amount offered by the prosecution, arguing that it was unreasonable and punitive for the nature of the offence committed.

"My client can attend court according to the set date. I am also applying for low bail as his income is affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic," the lawyer said.

Muhammad Iskandar later allowed the accused bail of RM5,000 with one surety and the case was fixed for mention on Oct 14.

In December, Persatuan Seniman Malaysia (Seniman) lodged a police report against the film, directed by controversial rapper-director Namewee.

According to Seniman, the film which was screened abroad allegedly had racist elements and tarnished Malaysia's image. – Bernama

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