Taylor's FSLM Journals
Film censorship in Malaysia: Key issues and challenges of the system

@ SEARCH Journal of Media and Communication Research

Online ISSN: 2672-7080

*Simon Wood, Saw Tiong Guan, Magesan R. Ayavoo


The Malaysian film censorship system is “state-based” in which censorship of films is done by entities established under the federal legislation and operates within the purview of the Executive. Censorship of films in Malaysia is governed by the Film Censorship Act 2002 and the decision to alter or ban a particular movie is decided by the Board of Censors, Appeal Committee, and the Minister of Home Affairs. The Act came into force on April 1, 2002, repealing and replacing the Film (Censorship) Ordinance 1952. Censors use the Film Censorship Guidelines 2010 to supplement their powers when exercising their authority. No substantial amendments were made to the legislation since its introduction in 1952. Although Malaysia has a proud history of filmmaking, in the last few decades, film censorship has become much stricter, leading in some cases to inconsistent and seemingly harsh decisions.

Keywords: Film censorship, Film Censorship Act, film industry, freedom of expression, media