Content forum bidding to update broadcast code for better safeguards

KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 — The Communications and Multimedia Content Forum of Malaysia (CMCF) is planning amendments to the code regulating broadcasters and introduce measures such as parental controls and restrictions of products touting health benefits.

The CMCF is soliciting feedback for its plan to update the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Content Code that was first published in 2004.

Specifically, it intends to introduce the classification of broadcast content; advertisements for slimming products and services with the approval of the Health Ministry; the scheduling of classified programmes applicable to free-to-air and Pay TV broadcasters; and the introduction of a new provision that strengthens the requirements of privacy in line with the Malaysian Personal Data Protection Act 2010.

“The new classification of broadcast content is a timely solution to align with the rating standards with the Film Censorship Board of Malaysia and to clarify the confusion on the different rating standards between free-to-air television stations, Pay Television, and other electronic media,” CMCF executive director Mohd Mustaffa Fazil Mohd Abdan said in a statement.

CMCF said the requirement for Health Ministry approval to advertise slimming products was for consumer protection.

As opposed to the previous outright ban on such advertisements, CMCF said the proposed revision would allow proper scrutiny from the authorities on the products before they reach the consumers’ attention.

“In keeping with the needs of fast-evolving consumer and industry trends, the proposed amendments reflect an initiative to fill the gaps for consumer protection within the electronic content industry, and emphasises the need for voluntary oversight over content for individuals and organisations,” Mohd Mustaffa Fazil added.

The CMCF said it is holding public consultations to gather feedback on the proposals and especially invited comments from the electronic media sector.

“To that extent, we hope to introduce these four amendments to stay relevant and proactive to the needs of the electronic content industry scene in Malaysia.

“As a precursor to the proposed changes to the Content Code, the CMCF is inviting all Malaysians to share their views on the four new amendments before the changes are officially made and implemented,” its chairman Datuk Ahmad Izham Omar was quoted in the statement.

The public may view the proposed amendments in their entirety on the CMCF website from 20 May until 30 June 2019 and submit feedback via email and through the forum’s social media accounts, aside from traditional avenues.

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