KUALA LUMPUR — July 23, 2020: The Aljazeera news channel is objecting to claims by the national film corporation Finas that it did not have the licence to produce a recent documentary on illegal immigrants in Malaysia.
Aljazeera English managing director Giles Trendle today argued that according to Finas’ own definition, the 101 East weekly current affairs show does not fall into the category of a film requiring a licence.
The documentary entitled “Locked Up in Malaysia’s Lockdown” was broadcast on July 3.
“Unable to contest the integrity of our journalism, we believe the authorities are now attempting this new gambit of claiming we did not have a proper licence,” said Trendle.
“We do not believe this is a credible line of argument. In fact, we believe it is contradicted by the very own published guidelines of the relevant authority.”
On Monday Finas said the Doha-based channel did not have a film production licence, nor did it apply for accreditation.
The government said Aljazeera was being probed for sedition, defamation and improper use of network facilities. The team that produced the report was questioned by the police.