Activist seeks review of Film Censorship Act

Source: FMT News

Activist Lena Hendry (second from right) hands over her complaints to Suhakam commissioners Mah Weng Kwai (middle) and Jerald Joseph (second from right), pic from FMT News.

Activist Lena Hendry (second from right) hands over her complaints to Suhakam commissioners Mah Weng Kwai (middle) and Jerald Joseph (second from left), pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Human rights activist Lena Hendry, who was recently found guilty of screening an uncensored film, is making a last-minute plea for a review of the law she was convicted under.

Facing a possible three-year jail sentence, she said the Film Censorship Act needed to be reviewed as the law was “quite outdated”.

She said it could be seen as a blanket ban on whoever had a video on their handphones that was not filtered by the authorities.

She said they could be found guilty because of that, she told Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) commissioners Mah Weng Kwai and Jerald Joseph when filing a complaint against the law. Read more

Film censorship is being used to quell discourse in Malaysia — Zan Azlee

Source: Asian Correspondent

BY ZAN AZLEE

Activist Lena Hendry is seen outside the courtroom after the film censorship case decision in Kuala Lumpur February 21, 2017. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

Activist Lena Hendry is seen outside the courtroom after the film censorship case decision in Kuala Lumpur February 21, 2017. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

AS a documentary filmmaker, I regularly screen my films and also give talks and workshops, both locally and internationally. When I am out of the country, I always get asked the question of how local filmmakers deal with the strict censorship laws in Malaysia.

My first response is always to correct their question. The question shouldn’t be how we Malaysian filmmakers deal with strict censorship laws; it should be how we deal with vague, unclear and inconsistent censorship laws.

Take for example, Lena Hendry, who is a former employee of a Malaysian-based human rights non-governmental organisation called Pusat KOMAS. She was found guilty of screening the documentary ‘No Fire Zone: The killing fields of Sri Lanka’ without censorship approval in 2013.

Hendry was convicted under Section 6(1)(b) of the Film Censorship Act, 2002 on Feb 21, 2017 and could now face up to three years’ jail or a fine not exceeding RM30,000 (US$6,750). Sentencing has been set for 22nd March. Read more