KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 9 — Netflix’s movies and television series that are streamed online will still have to comply with local regulator Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commision (MCMC)’s content standards, minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak has said.
According to the New Straits Times (NST), Salleh told the paper that the MCMC can take action against Netflix if it makes offensive content available in Malaysia and breaches the regulator’s content standards.
The communications and multimedia minister said MCMC will be asked to meet with Netflix to notify them of local content standards and their obligations.
Netflix still has to meet the local regulator’s content standards even if it is exempt from getting a license as an over-the-top content application (OTT) provider like Facebook, Salleh said.
Salleh said his ministry is mulling a new provision under the Communications and Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998 to introduce licensing for OTT providers like Netflix.
“A deeming provision is being considered under a review of the law so that OTT providers can be deemed as licensed if they provide services in Malaysia,” he was quoted saying by NST.
Netflix’s OTT model means content is delivered without the involvement of a network provider such as Celcom and Maxis, while a Malaysian company called iflix provides a similar service with the aid of network provider Telekom Malaysia’s IPTV (Internet Protocol television) to cater to the local market, Salleh said.
Yesterday, Malay Mail Online reported a US-based Netflix staff as confirming that there will be no censorship of television series and movies made available here, although certain content may be unavailable due to regional licensing restrictions.
Netflix was made available in Malaysia starting Thursday, with subscription priced at between RM33 and RM51 a month.
The US video-streaming service has become increasingly popular over the years, with popular television shows being made for Netflix, including House of Cards, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Narcos.
Today, local daily Berita Harian reported Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association (PPIM) chief activist Datuk Nadzim Johan as calling for government agencies to proactively filter Netflix’s content.
“The Netflix channel has to be given attention by the agencies involved and censorship to be carried out. If it can broadcast shows without any filters, other television stations will also be able to do the same.
“So, we have to block in advance, before people start to like these shows,” he was quoted telling the Malay-language daily.