When the news broke out that everyone needs to obtain film production licenses from National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS) even though the content that they filmed are meant just for social media, it sparked massive uproar throughout the country. It has also once again pushed FINAS into one of the trending topics on Twitter for Malaysia even at the time we published this article.
Not surprisingly, the Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Saifuddin Abdullah has released a follow-up statement to address the remark he made at Parliment this morning. Essentially, he stated that some of the reports about his remark were not accurate.
Minister Saifuddin further explained that the answer he provided to MP Wong Shu Qi was merely an explanation of the FINAS Act 1981 that have been used by the government until today. In the same statement, he also said that the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) has acknowledged that the FINAS Act 1981 needs to be improved given the fact that it was established at a time where social media does not exist.
The minister also insisted that the government has no intention to use the FINAS Act to suppress personal freedom within the social media space. As a closing remark, Minister Saifuddin stated that KKMM welcomed any suggestions to improve not only the FINAS Act but other laws that are under its responsibility.
The outdated definition of “film” within the FINAS Act was something that we have pointed out in our previous report. Since Minister Saifuddin and his colleagues at KKMM have now recognised that fact, here comes the follow-up question: what is going to happen next?
If KKMM is going to implement some amendments on the FINAS Act or any given laws under its purview, we do hope that the ministry would be able to share their draft out in the open and allow members of the public to provide their feedback on them. This is so that the public will not be caught off-guard by sudden implementations of some absurd regulations.