Producer of controversial film ‘Babi’ charged with unlicenced production

PETALING JAYA: The producer of the controversial film titled “Babi” was charged in the Magistrate’s Court here today with participating in the filmmaking and displaying posters without a licence from the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas), in November last year.

Toh Han Boon, 35, claimed trial when the charge was read out to him in Bahasa Malaysia before Magistrate Muhammad Iskandar Zainol.

He was accused of committing the offence at Jalan PJU 7/8, Mutiara Damansara, here, on Nov 18, 2020 according to Section 22 (1) of the Finas Act 1981 (Act 244-Amendment 2013) punishable under Section 25 (1) of the same Act which carries a maximum fine of RM50,000 or imprisonment of up to two years or both, if convicted.

Deputy public prosecutor Zamriah Zarifah Aris offered bail of RM8,000 with one surety and additional condition that the accused submit his passport to the court and report to the nearest police station once a month, until the trial is completed.

In mitigation, lawyer Mohd Haijan who represented Toh objected to the bail amount offered by the prosecution, arguing that it was unreasonable and punitive for the nature of offence committed.

“My client can attend court according to the set date. I am also applying for low bail as his income is also affected due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” the lawyer said.

Muhammad Iskandar later allowed the accused bail of RM5,000 with one surety and the case was fixed for mention on Oct 14.

In December last year, Bernama reported that the Persatuan Seniman Malaysia (Seniman) had lodged a police report against a film titled “Babi” which was screened abroad because it was believed to have racist elements and was alleged to have tarnished Malaysia’s image. – Bernama