Major change in Malaysia’s film language policies

Mysinchew.com reports in its January 29th edition:
All Malaysian-made movies in Mandarin, Cantonese or Tamil with Bahasa Malaysia subtitles are now recognised as local movies, Minister of Information, Communication and Culture Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said today.

Citing an example, he said that ‘Ice Kacang Puppy Love’ (Cinta Ais Kacang), directed by Tan Kheng Seong or popularly known as Ah Niu, is already classified as a local movie.

“I have decided with our committee and I have informed the cabinet about this decision,” he said.

“Therefore, if the movies make money at the box office, they will be given the entertainment tax rebate,” he told reporters here.

It was reported earlier that the locally-produced Chinese movie, ‘Ice Kacang Puppy Love,’ which raked in RM4milion, did not qualify for the 25 per cent tax rebate as it had been classified as a foreign movie.

It was also reported that the movie did not comply with the provisions of Finas, the National Film Development Corporation, which stipulated that local movies must have at least 60 per cent dialogue in Bahasa Malaysia to meet the conditions for rebate.

However, there were also reports that the movie could enjoy the rebate.

Asked when the Ministry would make the refund, Rais said: “I think we can make an announcement (on that) in March.”

Ah Niu, who shot to fame in Taiwan with his hit song ‘Look over here, girl across the street’, directed and produced his maiden movie under his newly established film production company Very Good Pictures.

‘Ice Kacang Puppy Love’ is based on his childhood in Penang, and Ah Niu stars as a secondary school student secretly in love with a schoolmate, played by Malaysian artist Lee Sinje.