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“Mentega Terbang’ producer and director to be charged in court on 17 January

‘Mentega Terbang’ producers Tan Meng Kheng and director Khairi Anwar Jailani face charges for “wounding religious feelings.” Banned in September 2023, the film triggers investigations and criticism for depicting scenes conflicting with Islamic teachings.

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MALAYSIA – In a significant development surrounding the controversial Malaysia indie film ‘Mentega Terbang’ (Flying Butter), producer Tan Meng Kheng and director Khairi Anwar Jailani are set to face legal charges on Wednesday (17 Jan).

The charges are related to allegedly “wounding religious feelings.”

Tan Meng Kheng, who received a summons dated 15 January, will appear at the Kuala Lumpur magistrates’ court to respond to the charges.

Simultaneously, director Khairi Anwar Jailani has also been served with a similar summons, according to Anna Har of Freedom Film Network.

Controversial film ‘Mentega Terbang’ faces ban amidst religious sensitivity

The movie, which explores the religious conflict faced by a Muslim teenager named Aisyah, was banned by the Ministry of Home Affairs on 1 September 2023.

In response to the ban, Tan and Khairi filed an application with the High Court last month, seeking a legal review of the government’s decision.

They argue that the ban is ‘irrational’ and an unjustified restriction on artistic expression, asserting that it infringes upon freedom of speech under the Federal Constitution.

The 104-minute film, previously available on online streaming platforms, has been criticized for allegedly depicting scenes that contradict Islamic teachings.

It had been available online since 2021 but was taken down from the Viu platform on 27 February 2023, as confirmed by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

The storyline of “Mentega Terbang” revolves around the religious exploration of the protagonist, Aisyah, who delves into various religions, particularly seeking answers about life after death.

Despite its independent and thought-provoking nature, the film has faced criticism from various quarters, including the Department of Islamic Development (Jakim).

Jakim has asserted that the film contains elements contrary to the beliefs and way of life of Malaysian Muslims who follow the Syafie school of thought.

It faces opposition not only from a federal government agency but also from netizens who deemed it inappropriate due to its inclusion of elements of religious pluralism.

In one of the clips in the movie, the main character ‘Aisyah’ is shown openly asking for pork from a non-Muslim friend, while another clip shows Aisyah’s father allowing her to convert to another religion.

The clips drew the ire of netizens, who questioned how such a movie was approved for screening.

In March 2023, the police reported that the movie had garnered at least eight police reports related to its content.

The Communications and Digital Ministry also directed the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas) and MCMC to take action against the movie producers.

Minister Fahmi Fadzil announced investigations into regulatory infringements by the production team, prompted by the controversy.

Jakim also reviewed the film’s content and determined it to be against the Islamic creed, as reported by Religious Affairs Minister Na’im Mokhtar.

Following multiple police reports, Bukit Aman initiated an investigation on 14 March, recording statements from the producer and six actors.

The case was classified under Section 298A and Section 505(b) of the Penal Code, along with Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

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“has been criticized for allegedly depicting scenes that contradict Islamic teachings.”

brah most matlaysian and all sinkie muslims would be considered herectics to be chopped up, according to Saudi Arabia’s islamic teachings. nevermind taliban, ISIS and palestines.

what teachings exactly got “wounded”?

AI is not showing to be practising freedom of speech and expression. Those who are offended don’t need to watch the show. Don’t use for political gains in Malaysia but lose in reputation internationally.

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