Spotlight on Al Jazeera’s ‘filming licence’ may open a Pandora’s Box

Hariz Mohd


Investigations against international news organisation Al Jazeera are intensifying with a rarely enforced law on filming permissions now being invoked.

Yesterday, the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) announced that Al Jazeera’s documentary titled "Locked Up in Malaysia's Lockdown" did not have the necessary paperwork and was being investigated.

Under Section 22(1) of the Perbadanan Kemajuan Filem Nasional Malaysia Act 1981, producing, exhibiting or distributing a film required a licence from Finas. The subsequent subsection states that a licence can be denied without any reason given.

A violation of this law may result in a maximum two years imprisonment, a maximum RM50,000 fine or both.

Should prosecutors eventually apply this law against Al Jazeera, it may have a far-reaching impact on the media industry and perhaps even on individuals.

Share this story


By posting a comment, you agree to our Terms & Conditions as stipulated in full here


Foul language, profanity, vulgarity, slanderous, personal attack, threatening, sexually-orientated comments or the use of any method of communication that may violate any law or create needless unpleasantness will not be tolerated. Antisocial behaviour such as "spamming" and "trolling" will be suspended. Violators run the risk of also being blocked permanently.


Please use the report feature that is available below each comment to flag offending comments for our moderators to take action. Do not take matters in your own hands to avoid unpleasant and unnecessary exchanges that may result in your own suspension or ban.