Today (21 July), Namawee’s latest film Babi is making headlines once again as the film producer, Toh Han Boon claimed trial at the Petaling Jaya Magistrates Court to the charge of not obtaining a valid licence from the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) for the production and promotion of the movie.
According to Malay Mail, the sole charge was framed under Sections 22 (1) of the Finas Act (Act 244), which states that “no person shall engage in any activities of production, distribution or exhibition of films or any combination of those activities as specified in subsection 21(1) unless there is in force a licence authorising him to do the same”.
If found guilty, the 35-year-old faces a maximum fine of RM50,000 or a maximum of two years in jail or both.
Deputy public prosecutor Zamriah Zarifah Aris asked the court to impose bail of RM8,000 for Toh and for him to surrender his passport to the court pending the disposal of the case.
Toh’s lawyer, Haijan Omar, objected to the bail conditions, citing that they were unreasonable. He said the case was not an offence under the Penal Code.
Meanwhile, Magistrate Muhammad Iskandar Zainol granted Toh a bail of RM5,000 with one surety. The court did not impose any additional condition and also fixed the case for mention on 14 October.
Previously, Perikatan Nasional (PN) Youth members had lodged a police report against the director of the film, Namewee, over its poster, alleging that it touched on racial sensitivities. They said they feared the poster could cause interracial tension.
ICYMI, Babi is a notable piece of work that has been nominated at several international film festivals last year. Since its release, the film has been banned in Malaysia for its polarising subject matter as it depicts school violence that purportedly took place in a secondary school in the southern part of Malaysia in 2000.
Watch the trailer here: