KUANTAN, July 19 — The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) is checking if the controversial documentary “Locked Up In Malaysia’s Lockdown” produced by international media Al-Jazeera was licensed by the National Film Development Corporation (FINAS) before it began production, said its minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
He said the company or production team involved needed to get permission from FINAS as it was a requirement for the production of films and documentaries in the country.
His ministry, he said, through the Information Department would also be checking whether Al-Jazeera met accreditation conditions in shooting the documentary.
“For FINAS it is simple, that is, whether you have a license or not. It’s ok if there is a license but if there is no license, it is then considered an offense,” he told reporters after the launching of the Nation of Women (NOW) Pahang, here, today, which was also attended by NOW president Haniza Talha and FINAS chairman Zakaria Abd Hamid.
Commenting further, Saifuddin said the Information Department would be checking if there was a violation of the accreditation conditions.
‘’…if this international media organization is found infringing the accreditation conditions, we will proceed to cancel its accreditation facilities upon obtaining the findings of police investigations. With the revocation of accreditation facilities, its (Al-Jazeera’s) crews are not free to go anywhere without the (media) cards issued by the Information Department,” he said.
The 25-minute 50-second documentary alleged that illegal immigrants in the country were mistreated as Malaysia was implementing measures to address the spread of COVID-19. After it was aired, many Malaysians voiced outrage that it falsely depicted the country and a slew of police reports were lodged against Al Jazeera.
Police subsequently interviewed a number of people from Al-Jazeera to assist their investigations into the controversial documentary.
Meanwhile, regarding NOW, Haniza said the non-governmental organization (NGO) is targeting to increase its membership to 50,000 from about 30,000 currently.
She said the NGO has members from various races, political beliefs, and expertise and hoped that diversity could be used for the benefit of its members.
Earlier in his speech, Saifuddin offered NOW to work with the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), to enable NOW members to participate in online marketing-related training.