Social Media Users Need RM50,000 License To Make Videos – Muhyiddin Regime Becomes Like Pariah North Korea

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Jul 24 2020
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Some people who had earlier thought that the current Perikatan Nasional backdoor government could not be worse than the previous Pakatan Harapan government have started kicking themselves. Initially, the Muhyiddin government provided all types of entertainment and amusement during the boring MCO (movement control order) lockdown.


The comical stunts started with Health Minster Dr Adham Baba, whose “drink warm water to kill the Covid-19” formula shocked the world’s top scientists. He also claimed to have had a video conference with leaders from 500 countries. Later, Doraemon Minister Rina Mohd Harun took the world by storm when she advised all women to talk and giggle like Doraemon.


When people thought the comedy show was about to end after the stunning performance from the “Warm Water” minister and “Doraemon” minister, it was actually just the beginning. Joining the band of stooges was “TikTok” Higher Education Minister Noraini Ahmad, who raised eyebrows when she proposed a TikTok competition to convince young people to stay home during the lockdown.

Doraemon Minister Rina Mohd Harun

All the three ministers with “IQ of a carrot” had tried very hard to shine in the hastily formed backdoor government, whose legitimacy was being questioned after Muhyiddin betrayed his own government by launching a coup with the Opposition – UMNO Malay nationalist party and PAS Islamist party. The coup allows the racist, corrupt and extremist parties formed the government.


Now, another half-past-six minister – Saifuddin Abdullah – offers not only more jokes, but adds suspicion that Perikatan Nasional (PN) is actually worse from the defeated corrupt Barisan Nasional (BN). A fragile government with a majority of only 2 seats, Muhyiddin regime appears to be on its way to dictatorship – suppressing and oppressing freedom of speech.


Communications and Multimedia Minister Saifuddin Abdullah has somehow decided that under the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) Act, all production of films and recording – regardless of media agencies or individual media outlets – must apply for a licence before filming. All film producers must get an approval 7 days in advance before the filming date.

Saifuddin Abdullah

Mr. Saifuddin said – “Film producers must apply for Film Production License and Film Shooting Certificate (SPP) regardless of whether they are mainstream media agencies or personal media which produce films on social media platforms or traditional channels. Finas issues three types of licences to the film industry, they are licences to produce, distribute and broadcast films or videos.”


Essentially, short films, trailers, advertising “filmlets” and any recording on material of any kind, including videotapes and video discs of moving images (accompanied or unaccompanied by sound) and documentaries for the viewing of the public, are all grouped under the so-called “film” which requires approval from Finas (read: government) prior to filming.


If you think this applies only to Hollywood or Bollywood film producers, think again. This applies to anyone who possesses a smartphone or any electronic gadgets capable of recording anything – whether a blogger, a YouTuber, a new born baby or a 99-year-old citizen. As long as you hit the “Record” button, you could be charged without an approval to do the filming.

Social Media - Make Video with Smartphone

The best part is – any party who wishes to obtain a film production licence from Finas must pay RM50,000 – being the minimum paid-up capital of a private limited company. Hilariously, it means home surveillance camera, car’s dash-cam, recordings on Zoom, WhatsApp, Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter and other social media platform would need a license.


Heck, one might need to think twice about shooting kids’ or grandparents’ birthday party. The incompetent and clueless minister’s decision also means contents created by learning institutions or houses of worship will need a filming license from Finas. If there are 1-million videos being uploaded to YouTube, the authorities would need to process 1-million licenses – and earn RM50 billion.


Why is this crazy thing happening in the middle of Coronavirus pandemic? One word – Al-Jazeera. Apparently, the backdoor government of Muhyiddin was not impressed after Al-Jazeera’s released its weekly “101 East” documentary – titled “Locked Up in Malaysia’s Lockdown”. Since the documentary was uploaded on YouTube on July 3, it has almost 2-million views.



The video has upset the Malaysian government primarily because it highlighted the treatment of migrant and foreign workers during the lockdown which began on March 18, 2020. Al-Jazeera claimed that after having done the country’s most dangerous and dirtiest jobs, the undocumented foreign workers were left to starve and dependent on charities to survive.


The investigation by the Qatari news channel also showed thousands of undocumented migrant workers being arrested during raids in areas under tight lockdowns. Malaysian government, however, accused the report as inaccurate, misleading and unfair. Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob told Al-Jazeera to apologise over claims of discrimination and racism.


Unlike government-controlled local news media, however, Al-Jazeera Media Network refused to be bullied and has strongly rejected the Malaysian allegations – insisting that it stands by “the professionalism, quality and impartiality of its journalism”. Instead, the news channel from the Middle East has condemned Malaysian harassment after their staffs were subject to a police investigation.

Al-Jazeera - Investigated by Malaysian Police Over Documentary

Charging and intimidating journalists for doing their jobs might be normal in Malaysia, where mainstream news media were nothing but a propaganda arm to serve the interest of the previous corrupt Barisan Nasional regime. For more than 60 years, Malaysian authorities have little respect for media freedom. But it’s a different ballgame with a foreign media like Al-Jazeera.


To be fair to Al-Jazeera, besides highlighting the mistreatment of immigrants, the documentary also praised Malaysia’s success in containing the Coronavirus and the humanitarian efforts of Malaysian organisations to provide assistance to foreign workers in need. It argued that the documentary does not contain the personal opinions of any Al-Jazeera staff.


More importantly, Al-Jazeera also had repeatedly sought to obtain the government’s view by requesting interviews with a number of senior government ministers and officials, including that of the Defense Ministry, but were rejected. Exactly why did Defense Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob refuse to give his side of the story or explanation on behalf of the Malaysian government?

Ismail Sabri Yaakob

Perhaps Mr. Sabri, who is also a Senior Minister, was afraid to be grilled with “tough questions” by an international news channel. For example, how should he respond when asked about how the 7-million foreigners came into existence in the country? Of course, he can’t possibly admit the corruption, incompetence – even human trafficking – practised by the authorities.


From the beginning, it was a mistake not to provide a proper explanation to Al-Jazeera. It was a bigger mistake when the police was used to charge journalists of an international news channel. The Malaysian authorities’ intimidation has become a bigger global story than the documentary itself. Muhyiddin government has – stupidly – given free publicity to Al-Jazeera’s story.


The biggest mistake came when the backdoor Perikatan Nasional government, in its haste to punish Al-Jazeera, had accused the international media organization of not obtaining permission from Finas to produce the documentary. Amazingly, the desperate attempt by Muhyiddin government backfired as Al-Jazeera appears to know Malaysian law much better than Finas itself.

Film Making

Al-Jazeera English managing director Giles Trendle retaliated on July 22, saying that based on Finas’ definition, the documentary does not fall into the category of film and therefore, it doesn’t require a license. He mocked – “Unable to contest the integrity of our journalism, we believe the authorities are now attempting this new gambit of claiming we did not have a proper licence.”


Unable to lose face, Communications and Multimedia Minister Saifuddin Abdullah declared all film production, whether from media outlets or personal media on traditional platforms or even social media, require a licence. That silly declaration immediately triggers ridicule and mockery over the minister’s incompetency. On social media, he is being laughed and slammed.


In his latest response after the screw-up, Saifuddin backpedalled and said that the government does not plan to use the “Finas Act 1981” to restrain personal freedoms. But based on his new twisted logic and U-turn, does that mean the clueless Muhyiddin government can no longer intimidate, let alone charge, Al-Jazeera over the weekly produced documentary?

Social Media Users Need License To Make Videos - YouTube - Muhyiddin Yassin and Kim Jong Un

If the Malaysian government continues to discriminate the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera using the lack of a license as an excuse, but at the same time allows YouTubers to produce films without one, it will scream double standard. The country would be compared with a communist state that oppresses and suppresses freedom of expression. Worse, Muhyiddin government may look the pariah North Korea regime.


Arguably, Muhyiddin dictatorship seems worse than the crooked Najib regime. At least, Najib was not dumb enough to invoke the Finas’ license requirement when the same Al-Jazeera produced a similar documentary in 2015 – “Murder in Malaysia” – a documentary on the controversial murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu involving the former prime minister.


Interestingly, Minister Saifuddin kept quiet when he was asked whether a Finas licence was issued to Dr Dustin Pfundheller (a dental surgeon who travels the world) who produced a 3-minute documentary praising Malaysia’s fight against Covid-19. So a RM50,000 license is only applicable to documentary critical of Muhyiddin government, but Muhyiddin bootlickers are exempted?

Najib Razak Worry Sad - Al Jazeera Exposed Altantuya Murder


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