LONDON — Malaysian film censors have snipped the Sapphic kisses in “The Hours” from local screens.
Film Censorship Board chairman Datuk Shaari Mohamad Noor says the board has a duty to protect “the interests of the country and people from bad influences and negative elements shown in films.”
He adds the board receives repeated calls for censorship from moviegoers. “You’d be surprised that we get as many letters scolding us for being too lenient as for being too strict,” he says.
The stringent Malaysian authorities also have banned “Daredevil,” which they deemed “too violent” and said encouraged youngsters to “hero-worship someone with a devil-sounding name.”
The Malaysian government has a long history of banning pics. Steven Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List” was considered Zionist propaganda, while spy spoof “Zoolander” was outlawed for including a plot to assassinate a Malaysian prime minister.
Some feel the censorship in Malaysia is heavy-handed and patronizing, but others feel the problem lies in the vagueness of the regulations.