Film producers need licence from Finas, minister tells Dewan

Producers must apply to Finas for a production licence and film shooting certificate for films on social media platforms and traditional channels a week before shooting. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: Communications and Multimedia Minister Saifuddin Abdullah told the Dewan Rakyat today that all film producers and media agencies including individual media outlets must apply for a licence before filming.

Speaking during ministerial question time, he said producers must apply to the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) for a production licence and film shooting certificate (SPP) for films on social media platforms and traditional channels a week before shooting.

PKR’s Fahmi Fadzil later asked the Dewan Rakyat if content creator Dr Dustin Pfundheller had obtained a licence from the government for his video “Other Side of the Truth”, adding that the video had been shared on Bernama’s social media platform.

To this, Saifuddin said he would leave the matter to the authorities.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Saifuddin Abdullah.

“If there are complaints, we will take action according to the law,” he said, adding that this would depend on the case.

However, Fahmi continued asking whether Pfundheller had been given a licence or not.

He also asked if platforms such as Instagram would need a licence from the ministry.

In his video, published on May 18, Pfundheller had praised Malaysia’s efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19.

This followed claims by Finas that news outlet Al Jazeera had not possessed the necessary licence to film or air a controversial documentary alleging the mistreatment of migrants during the Covid-19 lockdown period.

Al Jazeera later said that according to Finas’ own definition, its 101 East weekly current affairs show did not require a licence.

The documentary, titled “Locked Up in Malaysia’s Lockdown”, landed Al Jazeera in an investigation by Finas with government officials calling it biased and misleading.