Govt Will Not Use Finas Act to Restrict Personal Freedom on Social Media

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The government has no intention of using the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) Act 1981 to restrict the personal freedom of individuals on social media.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said certain sections of some news reports on his response in the Dewan Rakyat on July 23 regarding the need for Finas licence for filming had given an inaccurate picture which led to a different context to his reply.

When replying to a question from Kluang MP Wong Shu Qi, Saifuddin said he was only explaining about the existing law, which is the Finas Act which was passed in Parliament in 1981 and the act has been in use all this time, including previous governments.

“In 1981, there was no media social technology such as TikTok, YouTube and so on,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Earlier, during Question Time in the Dewan Rakyat, Saifuddin made a sweeping statement that all producers, whether mainstream media or personal entities, must obtain a Film Production Licence and Film Shooting Certificate (SPP) from Finas before filming.

The minister said the Act requires film producers to give it seven days’ prior notice before filming, adding that this also applies for content released on social media platforms.

He said the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) noted that the Act needed to be improved.

“I explained in a press conference in my 100-day report card on June 20 that the ministry was reviewing all laws under KKMM.

“It must be stressed that the PN (Perikatan Nasional) government never and does not intend to use this Act to restrict personal freedom on social media, a phenomenon that did not exist when the Act was drafted,” he said.

Saifuddin said the ministry is open to suggestions to improve not just the Act, but also all laws under it so that they suit the current needs.