KUALA LUMPUR, July 23 — Two Independent MPs today proposed that the government review and issue clear guidelines on the need for traditional film producers and those on social media platforms to obtain a licence from the Malaysian National Film Development Corporation (Finas) before releasing films.
Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (Independent-Muar) said he was worried that the regulations contained in the Finas Act 1981 would “kill” content creators, the majority of whom were youths.
He also estimated that more than 250,000 young people would be affected, such as by losing their jobs or have their income sources reduced due to the rules.
Citing some of the country’s famous content creators such as Neelofa, Matluthfi and JinnyboyTV, Syed Saddiq said they created a name for themselves in the creative content industry without having to obtain an expensive license.
“Content creators mostly operate on a small scale...it is not that they earn millions of ringgit every year.
“For me (they) do not need to go through the pre-licensing conditions that ensnare their future (such as) the payment of RM50,000,” he said while debating the motion of thanks on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s Royal Address in the Dewan Rakyat today.
Section 22 (1) of the Finas Act 1981 states that no one shall engage in any activities of producing, distributing or exhibiting films unless they possess a licence to do so.
Based on the information posted on the Finas website, in order to obtain a film making and video filming license, the applicant must be registered as the owner of a private limited company (Sdn Bhd), and have a paid-up capital of not less than RM50,000.
Maszlee Malik (Independent-Simpang Renggam) also interjected during Syed Saddiq’s speech and voiced the concerns of educators, including teachers and lecturers as they had produced a lot of video content for online learning purposes, especially during the movement control order (PKP).
“I have received a lot of grievances from teachers and lecturers because, during the MCO, they had to teach using online methods. For lecturers, they have produced video content and shared it on public platforms such as Youtube and IG (Instagram) for students who have not returned to college,” he said.
Maszlee also opined that applying a licence for the purpose would complicate the learning process post-Covid-19.
The Dewan Rakyat sitting resumes Monday. — Bernama