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KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 — Namewee’s latest film, Banglasia, was banned here for belittling the country’s security forces, poking fun at national security matters and promoting non-heterosexual behaviour, according to the Home Ministry.
The ministry was responding to Subang MP R. Sivarasa who asked why the movie was banned from screening in Malaysia, when Singaporean cinemas had shown the 90-minute film in its entirety.
“This film has a title, theme, storyline, scenes and double meaning dialogue with implicit messages that were feared could raise controversy and public doubt,” the ministry said in a written parliamentary response.
Among others, it said the film “mocked national security issues, specifically the Lahad Datu intrusion”, “ridiculed the capacity and role of security troops in maintaining peace as well as national security”, “includes allegations and negative perceptions towards government agencies related to citizenship”, and “accentuates negative sociocultural lifestyles such as Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT)”.
“Before the decision was made, the Film Censorship Board had a discussion with the producers of the film and explained the negative scenes and dialogue that needed to be amended in the film,” the response read.
“However the film producers did not carry out the amendments as suggested by the Film Censorship Board, leading it to be not approved for screening.”
The film directed by Wee Meng Chee, or better known as Namewee, is about a multi-cultural group of individuals learning to put aside their differences when their cultural tolerance and understanding are put to the test.
The film was banned in Malaysia last year after 31 scenes were deemed inappropriate by the Malaysian Film Censorship Board, however it has been screened at several film festivals including Osaka Asian Film Festival 2015 (OAFF), New York Asian Film Festival 2015 (NYAFF) and Singapore International Film Festival 2015 (SGIFF).