Date: 16th February 2001

Religious Battle Over Indian Films In Malaysia

Muslim religious leaders in Malaysia are demanding that the government cut the amount of TV airtime devoted to Indian-made movies because, they contend, they promote "negative values." Meeting with reporters in Kuantan, Datuk Sen Harussam Zakana, a spokesman for the Conference of Muftis, said, "There were some Bollywood movies which carried excessive immoral values for youngsters to copy." He also asserted that many of the films contained references to the Hindu religion.

But Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Sen Abdullah Ahmad Badawi responded that the matter should be left in the hands of the official censorship board. "The board has clear guidelines," he told The Star newspaper (Kuala Lumpur). "It will decide on what's appropriate to be shown on TV." Malaysia is predominantly Muslim.

Source: Studio Briefing