The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has issued guidelines for the broadcast industry which, among others, discouraged the use of disparaging references to political figures and political parties.
According to Item 5(a) of the guidelines, the "tak santun" (impolite) phrases which includes "Mat Mongol", "Mat Sembab", "Mat Komedi", "Mat Sabun", "Idi Amin Malaysia", "Mak Lampir" and "Maha Firaun".
It is understood that these are all phrases which have been used to describe prominent Pakatan Harapan and BN figures.
The guidelines, titled "Bahasa Terlarang" published on July 3, also urges broadcasters not to use the phrases "DAPig", "f**katan", "Pascai", "Umnogok", "Umporno", "TV Tiga Suku", "Utusex", "Parti Kencing Rakyat" and "PANdap".
Any human should also not be described as "babi" (pig), "anjing" (dog), "lembu" (cow), "hantu" (ghost), "syaitan" (devil) and "Iblis" (Satan).
Words that have become ubiquitous in political speeches such as "dedak" (animal feed), "kafir" (infidel) and "murtad" (apostate) are also discouraged.
Generally, the guidelines urged broadcasters to censor or avoid using curse words or common Malaysian insults.
Interesting, seemingly innocuous words such as "celaka", "haprak", "bloody hell", "douche" and "pok gai" (Cantonese)" are also frowned upon.
The guidelines do not appear to be a hard ban as Item 6 "Scheduling" (b) (iii) and Item 7 (b) stated that the censoring of such words was up to the discretion of the broadcaster and that context should be taken into account.
The concluding remark of the document stated that the purpose of the guidelines was to provide a uniform policy for private broadcasters and was devised during a workshop attended by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, Film Censorship Board, Communication and Multimedia Content Forum (CMCF) and Commercial Radio Malaysia (CRM) on Oct 3 last year.
Malaysiakini is attempting to contact the Communications and Multimedia Ministry for further details.