KL censors snip TV scenes that 'mock, belittle govt'

PUTRAJAYA • Malaysia has issued guidelines barring local TV films from showing scenes of corruption or abuse of power by civil servants to protect the government's image.

The ban, which kicked in on June 15, takes a hardline stance on scenes and dialogues which "mock, belittle, criticise the government and the country's national sensitivities" and "tarnish the government's image", The Malaysian Insider (TMI) reported.

"Such scenes will definitely be censored, there is no avoiding it, because we have our people in the television stations doing the censorship," Malaysian Film Censorship Board chairman Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid told the news site.

"It has been there all this while, but we are just formalising it now, putting it in written form, stating our guidelines clearly," he added, referring to the ban on the scenes.

STATING IT CLEARLY

It (the ban) has been there all this while, but we are just formalising it now, putting it in written form, stating our guidelines clearly.

MR ABDUL HALIM ABDUL HAMID

The rules apply only to local films aired on TV stations in Malaysia.

Scenes that will not make the cut include those that depict violence, civil servants taking bribes or abusing their power, as well as "women wearing form-fitting clothes, clothes that reveal the shape of the breasts, privates, thighs, buttocks, and underwear (except for Indian women in saris)", according to the censorship board's circular.

Scenes of characters violating the laws will also be snipped "unless it is an evil character and he gets his comeuppance", TMI reported.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 10, 2015, with the headline 'KL censors snip TV scenes that 'mock, belittle govt''. Print Edition | Subscribe