Personal media freedom fully guaranteed, says Saifuddin Abdullah

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ISKANDAR PUTERI, Aug 9 — Minister of Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah openly apologised to social media practitioners today over his recent statement in Parliament regarding the Malaysian National Film Development Corporation (Finas) licensing issue.

“As a minister, I should apologise, because when I replied about the issue in the Dewan Rakyat on July 23, I did so in a very straightforward manner.

“Apparently, politicians cannot be straight, when one is straight, he gets hammered.”

However, he said the next day, the matter was discussed in the Cabinet, which decided that the public could freely use platforms such as Youtube and Tik Tok to upload content.

“Don’t worry, no action will be taken. That freedom is fully guaranteed,” he said.

Saifuddin made the apology while officiating the Southern Zone Youtube and Community Cinema Skills Worskshop at the Iskandar Malaysia Studios here, today.

He was then greeted with thunderous applause and cheers by more than 200 attendees at the event including popular Youtubers Mat Dan and Tuah Adzmi.

The two were among several Youtube celebrities invited as panelists in the two-day programme which began today.

Organised by Finas, the programme aims to expose young talent to the latest media to generate income.

On July 23, Saifuddin became a hot topic for netizens when he reportedly said it was mandatory for producers, including on new media such as Youtube, to apply for a Film Production Licence and Filming Authentication Certificate (SPP), for distributing films via traditional channels or social media platforms.

Although what he said was to answer a question specifically about film producers, the statement invited criticism from various quarters, especially the younger generation, who form the majority of users on social media.