Updated censorship guidelines focuses on public safety and culture, says Saifuddin

PUTRAJAYA: The new censorship guidelines for films under the Film Censorship Board have been improved with three main pillars: public safety and security, religion, as well as morals and socioculture, says Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

The Home Minister said the new guidelines were designed to allow industry players and filmmakers to produce quality works without compromising or limiting their creativity and skills.

"With the new guidelines, local filmmakers are encouraged to produce films with high quality and aesthetic value, but they should not negatively impact public safety and security, religious sensitivity, or the sociocultural norms of people in the country," he said in his opening speech during the launch of the Film Censorship Board guidelines at Marriott Putrajaya on Monday (May 20).

The new film censorship guidelines, which replaced the 2010 version, had been updated and improved to balance the rapid development of digital technology in the film industry and to assess the level of audience acceptance and maturity in understanding that most films were fictional and make-believe.

Saifuddin added that the guidelines would also address increasingly complex social issues that could influence teenagers and children, and keep pace with current developments and the demands of the film industry to adapt appropriate classifications for each work produced.

He stated that the additions to the guidelines received input from various parties, including industry players, academics, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

"This introduction of new guidelines is not a unilateral decision. The engagement process was conducted with all levels of stakeholders in the local film industry," he added.

He emphasised that the new guidelines must ensure that matters enshrined in the Federal Constitution, including Islam as the religion of the Federation, the role of the royal institution, and the national language, were not disputed in the content of any film.

As of last year, Film Censorship Board received 11,439 censorship applications, covering films, advertisements, television station content, and film publicity materials.

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