The Sun, |
KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 11, 2010): National Film
Development Corporation (Finas) director-general Mohd Mahyidin Mustakim
today expressed regret that a two-minute clip it had produced in
conjunction with Deepavali had inadvertently touched on the
sensitivities of Hindus.
"We thought it was done in a good manner but when we saw it touched
on the sensitivities of people, we immediately stopped it," he said in a
"We regret that it touched on sensitivities, and will be more careful
in future," he said, adding that the video clip which was aired over
RTM, TV3 and Astro from Nov 5 was withdrawn after three days when
public complaints against it began to surface.
Mahyidin said Finas had not received any complaint when the public
service announcement (PSA) video was previewed by some of its Indian
staff as well people outside of Finas before it was released on air.
He said the storyline had been thought up by a small internal
production team made of youths who were trying to incorporate a
portrayal of multi-cultural acceptance, with the intention of depicting
the spirit of 1Malaysia.
The clip featured an Indian Muslim convert and his Malay wife visitng his parent's home for the Deepavali festive season.
A controversial scene in the video depicted the Muslim wife being
reluctant to eat at her in-law's family dinner table until a Malay
neighbour arrived to say that she had prepared the food in a halal
"It implies our food is uncivilised," said national treasurer of the
Federation of Indian Organisations Victor Suppiah who was among a group
of protesters who handed over memorandums of protest at both Finas and
Astro headquarters this afternoon.
The group which claimed to represent about 40 Indian non-governmental
organisation (NGOs) also lodged a police report at the Bukit Jalil
police station claiming the video clip was seditious in nature as it
provoked the sensitivities of Hindus.
It also called on the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commision (MCMC) to investigated the issue.
They also urged the government to introduce clearer guidelines on the
prohibition of subject matter relating to religious conversions and how
it is portrayed in the public media.
"The current policy guidelines are vague," said Malaysia Hindu Sangam
youth leader Arun Doraisamy in calling for a dialogue on the issue
between concerned NGOs, Finas and Astro, saying it would help to reveal
shortcomings in current policies and help avert similar incidents in
He said doing so would not only benefit Hindus but other religions as
well as an umbrella guideline from the ministry that was clearly
spelled out would help writers, directors and other relevant persons
wanting to portray the 1 Malaysia vision.
Meanwhile, an Astro spokesperson who met the group to accept the
memorandum said the PSA had been aired by Astro as a requirement by all
licensee holders under the MCMC.