PUTRA Wants it Banned, JAKIM Calls it Contradicting – ‘Mentega Terbang’ is in Hot Waters For Simply Challenging Taboo Topics

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(source: Malaysia Kini)

Back in December last year, JUICE did a review of the indie film Mentega Terbang when it first came out. We called it a film that “everyone should watch but not all can stomach” and it seems like the rhetoric is coming true after the public had access to it through the online streaming platform, Viu.

The 1-hour and 44-minute film was received with many good reviews when it aired but some conservatives voiced out their criticism as it allegedly featured scenes with elements that contradicted religious beliefs.

Today (2 March), checks conducted by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) concluded that it does go against the creed and way of life of Muslims from the Syafie school of thought in Malaysia.

According to NST, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Dr Mohd Na’im Mokhtar said Jakim would submit a detailed comment to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) so that action could be taken in accordance with the law.

Datuk Dr Mohd Na’im Mokhtar (source: BERNAMA)

The religious authorities will also call the parties involved in the production of the film for follow-up procedures.

“The Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) will not compromise with the distribution of any content that can tarnish the sanctity of Islam, and worse still, invite controversy and affect the harmony of the Malaysian community,” he said in a statement today.

While this took place, Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra) urged the Ministry of Home Affairs (KDN) to ban the film for allegedly promoting pluralism. The right-wing Ibrahim Ali-led party, Putra was recently in headlines for ramped up race rhetorics by new member, former PM Tun Mahathir.

While it’s not a surprise that the party is targeting the film, Ibrahim Ali said that it is trying to cause provocation by touching on sensitive issues on religion and satirising the laws of Islam. He said it could confuse young people, especially those without a strong religious background.

Ibrahim Ali (source: The Star)

To refresh, Mentega Terbang is a 2021 indie film produced by Tan Meng Kheng and directed by Khairi Anwar. It revolves around the endlessly curious of a 16-year-old Malay-Muslim girl named Aisyah.

As described in our review, “she’s your average girl next door except for the fact that she’s knee-deep in the Quran, Bible, Torah and Vedas, searching for the looming answer to the question that plagues every living person, ‘What happens when we die?'”.

The film fills in the gap in Malaysian cinema by showing viewers the openness to discuss complex topics without being shunned away.

JUICE has previously stated that “it acts almost as a needed protest to the way we are being silenced from talking about things that actually happen every day in our country… while Mentega Terbang is integral to our growth in understanding differing stances on religion, not many can stomach the inundating sensitivities that saturate the film”.

You can read our full review and thoughts regarding ‘Mentega Terbang’, by clicking here