Excessive film censorship will make Malaysians narrow-minded, deputy minister says

Nur Jazlan said censorship is only required for scenes that violate certain guidelines set by the Film Censorship Board (LPF) and the religious authorities here. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Nur Jazlan said censorship is only required for scenes that violate certain guidelines set by the Film Censorship Board (LPF) and the religious authorities here. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, April 4 — Too much censorship of movies involving sensitivities on religion, violence and sex would make Malaysians a narrow-minded lot, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said today.

Nur Jazlan said censorship is only required for scenes that violate certain guidelines set by the Film Censorship Board (LPF) and the religious authorities here.

“The presence of the LPF was meant to educate viewers so that they can make the best choice (in watching film).

“If we want to restrict all content made by film producers, it will not be good education or culture for viewers in our country. We wanted to provide more space to the viewers to open up their minds,” he told the Dewan Rakyat today.

Nur Jazlan was responding to a question raised by PAS’s Bachok MP Ahmad Marzuk Shaary who had asked for steps taken by the Home Ministry to ensure movies shown here are Shariah-compliant.

The Pulai MP also said the Home Ministry engages with religious bodies like the Malaysian Hindu Sangam as well as churches, apart from the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim) to get their feedback before censoring a film.

“They give us input on how to improve on our laws and practises,” he said.

Nur Jazlan said among others, local censors will remove cut scenes that are deemed as religiously insensitive or that threaten public peace and order.

“For Islamic movies, we give emphasis to the religious content that is being shown,” he added.

The Umno lawmaker also said Putrajaya cannot impose the same restrictions on movies streamed online.

“However, we are not responsible on downloaded contents, as well as those aired on the Internet originating from international sources,” Nur Jazlan said.