Saifuddin: No intention to restrict personal freedom on social media with Finas Act

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PUTRAJAYA (July 23): The Government has no intention to use the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) Act 1981 to restrict the personal freedom of individuals on social media, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

He said certain sections of some news reports on his response in the Dewan Rakyat today (July 23) regarding the need for Finas licence for filming had given an inaccurate picture which led to a different context to his reply.

When replying to a question from Kluang MP Wong Shu Qi, Saifuddin said he was only explaining about the existing law, which is the Finas Act which was passed in Parliament in 1981 and the Act has been in use all this time including previous governments.

"In 1981, there was no social media technology such as TikTok, YouTube and so on,” he said in a statement today.

Earlier, Saifuddin told the Dewan Rakyat that all film producers must apply for the Film Production Licence and the Filming Authentication Certificate (SPP) before filming any content for online platforms or traditional channels.

Saifuddin said this requirement applies to all film producers, either from mainstream media agencies or personal media.

He said the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (KKMM) noted that the Act needed to be improved.

"I explained in a press conference in my 100-day report card on June 20 that the Ministry was reviewing all laws under KKMM.

“It must be stressed that the PN (Perikatan Nasional) Government never and does not intend to use this Act to restrict personal freedom on social media, a phenomena that did not exist when the Act was drafted,” he said.

Saifuddin said the Ministry is open to suggestions to improve not just the Act, but also all laws under it so that they suit the current needs.