In light of the release of a documentary by Al Jazeera’ 101 East which reveals the repercussions of the Malaysian government’s treatment of its migrant and foreign workers that put its people on edge, the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) is implementing stricter rules which mandates video content producers to pay a large sum of money for a license to do so.
The video in subject is a documentary titled “Locked Up in Malaysia’s Lockdown,” which was taken during the rollout of the Movement Control Order (MCO), which kickstarted on March 18, 2020.
Already an established law since the 1980’s, the government body is ironfisted in its execution which thereby sees video content makers, like Al Jazeera, paying RM50,000 ($11,759). In addition, Finas also mandates that they be informed a week before the actual film date.
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While initial statement about the stringent imposition of the law came out perplexing due to the use of the term “personal media,” which many claims to include video contents aimed at the social media, the government body clarified that the law does not inhibit personal freedom.
That is to say that individuals who post video contents on social media platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, etc. may do so without fear of interjection from the Malaysian government.
After all, when the bill was ratified into law back in 1981, the concept of social media was still inexistent at the time and therefore is not covered in its scope.