KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – A decades-old Malaysian law requiring video or film productions to be licensed before being broadcast extends to social media, a minister said on Thursday, prompting an outcry from the opposition over its implications for freedom of expression.
FILE PHOTO: Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah speaks during an interview with Reuters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia April 23, 2019. REUTERS/Joseph Sipalan/File Photo
Communications and Multimedia Minister Saifuddin Abdullah told parliament that licences were needed “regardless of whether they are mainstream media agencies or personal media that broadcast films on social media or traditional channels”.
Opposition lawmakers accused the government of trying to cast a wide regulatory net on social media content using a 1981 National Film Development Corporation (FINAS) Act, which predates the internet.
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said the minister’s interpretation was a “worrying development”, saying: “This is unreasonable and backwards. At the same time, the government