Nur Jazlan: Banned film will be blocked online as well

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians may never get to watch the award-winning film Absent Without Leave with the Home Ministry planning to block it even online.

The film producers Hummingbird Productions had, on Feb 20, said the movie, which was initially banned in cinemas due to communist overtones, would be made available online to local viewers from Feb 28 to March 5.

"It's still forbidden to screen the film in Malaysian cinemas. So we decided to make the film available for free on the internet only for Malaysian audience," it wrote on Facebook, adding that a link would be made available via a Facebook event.

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, however, said the matter has been brought to the Communications and Multimedia Ministry for further action.

"Our Film Censorship Board has banned the film in cinemas and from public viewing for having elements which may be negative for national development.

"We have referred the matter to the Communications and Multimedia Ministry and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) for further action, including blocking the dissemination of the video online," he said when contacted.

The documentary film is directed by local Lau Kek-Huat, and recounts his journey tracing his family history, including his father's role in the communist insurgency.

The movie took him five years to make, costing over RM80,000.

It has also won the Singapore International Film Festival's Audience Award.