Minister says ‘sorry’ over Finas licensing issue

Communications and Multimedia Minister Saifuddin Abdullah had told Parliament that producers needed a Finas licence before filming. (Bernama pic)

ISKANDAR PUTERI: Communications and Multimedia Minister Saifuddin Abdullah apologised to social media practitioners today over his recent statement in Parliament regarding the Malaysian National Film Development Corporation (Finas) licensing issue.

“As a minister, I should apologise, because when I replied about the issue in the Dewan Rakyat on July 23, I did so in a very straightforward manner.

“Apparently, politicians cannot be straight, when one is straight, he gets hammered,” he said.

However, Saifuddin said, the matter was discussed the next day in the Cabinet, which decided that the public could freely use platforms such as Youtube and Tik Tok to upload content.

“Don’t worry, no action will be taken. That freedom is fully guaranteed,” he said.

On July 23, Saifuddin had become a hot topic for netizens when he said it was mandatory for producers, including those on new media such as YouTube, to apply for a Film Production Licence and Filming Authentication Certificate (SPP) to distribute films through traditional channels or social media platforms.

Saifuddin Abdullah.

His statement was criticised by various quarters, especially the younger generation, who form the majority of users on social media.

Saifuddin offered the apology while officiating a Southern Zone YouTube and Community Cinema Skills workshop at the Iskandar Malaysia Studios here.

His statement was greeted with applause and cheers by the participants, numbering more than 200, including YouTubers Mat Dan and Tuah Adzmi.

The two were among several YouTube celebrities invited as panellists in the two-day programme.