PETALING JAYA: The Film Censorship Board should have exercised restraint when it instructed two local stations to stop displaying visuals of men’s and women’s undergarments in their home shopping segments, Wanita MCA said today.

Saying that the directive was unreasonable, its National Chairperson Datuk Heng Seai Kie (pix) asked the Film Censorship Board to explain and clarify the relevant SOP so that businesses may operate in accordance with the regulation and work without interruption.

“At the same time, disciplinary action must be taken against the related officers for creating their own rules and discretion, but contribute nothing to assuage the situation,” she said in a statement today.

“The affected broadcaster did not display any indecent visuals, its models and mannequins were not arranged to exhibit obscene behaviour of donning undergarments. Accusing the company that ‘any indecent visual displays, including advertising undergarments will still offend the community’ is far-fetched, and will not convince the public.

“On the contrary, the officers’ actions will cause the public to suspect that they were bent on fault-finding and deliberately making things difficult. If not handled properly, their demeanour will backfire and cause a mockery of our nation’s reputation.”

Heng said Malaysia allows licensed businesses to sell and promote products as long as the advertised products do not involve obscenity or violate the law, and particularly with e-commerce currently booming, there are various platforms for innovative methods.

“As long as manufacturers and retailers exercise self-discipline and operate within the scope of the law, this is the inevitable trend for innovation and e-commerce.

“With the raging Covid-19 pandemic, Malaysian businesses have suffered a serious blow in sales and income and many have wound up. Amidst such challenges and pressures, going online to publicise one’s products is the best solution to adapt to in the current situation.

“Unfortunately, despite the financial difficulties, there are overzealous officers who are adding salt to the wounds. This will not only arouse public resentment, but also contravene the government’s policy of fully promoting economic recovery,” she added.