Malaysia’s Home Ministry denied today (Oct 10) that its officers had pressured a human rights non-governmental organisation (NGO) into cancelling a screening of Ms Tan Pin Pin’s To Singapore, With Love, reported The Malay Mail Online.
The film had originally been scheduled to be shown tomorrow at the Freedom Film Festival in Kuantan, Pahang, an annual event organised by local human rights group Pusat Komas.
In response to allegations that his ministry had forced the cancellation, Malaysian Deputy Home Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said that the film was barred from being shown as it was still under review. According to The Malay Mail Online, he stated that it was standard operating procedure for any film in Malaysia, whether commercial or independent. The Media Development Authority (MDA) has classified the film as “Not Allowed for All Ratings”, meaning that the film may not be distributed or exhibited in Singapore.
In Parliament on Tuesday, Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim had called the film a one-sided portrayal rather than a historical documentary presenting a factual account of what happened.
Individuals featured in the film had deflected questions or omitted mention of their past actions, which included violent acts and criminal offences that they remain liable for, he added.
Ms Tan Pin Pin, who made the film, lodged an appeal against the film’s classification last week.