Putting policemen as censors in cinemas

The history of film censors in Malaysia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The year was 1917, in a crowded cinema in Penang, Malaysia. A policeman stood silently in the aisle, scrutinizing the movie on screen while glancing at the raucous audience. He is the Censor, the person authorized on behalf of the Commissioner of Police, to approve or otherwise, the exhibition of cinematographic films to the public. This paper traces the historical development of film censors in Malaysia, from the time film first arrived in Malaya in 1898, the legislation that controlled and censored the content of films which then leads to the appointment of policemen as Censors, and the development of the system which sets the foundation of film censorship for more than a century, until today, in Malaysia. Historically, the current system and policies of film censorship in Malaysia was a legacy by the British since late 18th century.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-49
Number of pages7
JournalAsian Social Science
Volume9
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2013

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history of film
cinema
Malaysia
censorship
historical development
movies
Cinema
Censor
History of Film
police
legislation
human being

Keywords

  • Censorship
  • Cinematographic films
  • Film censors
  • Malaysia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "The year was 1917, in a crowded cinema in Penang, Malaysia. A policeman stood silently in the aisle, scrutinizing the movie on screen while glancing at the raucous audience. He is the Censor, the person authorized on behalf of the Commissioner of Police, to approve or otherwise, the exhibition of cinematographic films to the public. This paper traces the historical development of film censors in Malaysia, from the time film first arrived in Malaya in 1898, the legislation that controlled and censored the content of films which then leads to the appointment of policemen as Censors, and the development of the system which sets the foundation of film censorship for more than a century, until today, in Malaysia. Historically, the current system and policies of film censorship in Malaysia was a legacy by the British since late 18th century.",
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N2 - The year was 1917, in a crowded cinema in Penang, Malaysia. A policeman stood silently in the aisle, scrutinizing the movie on screen while glancing at the raucous audience. He is the Censor, the person authorized on behalf of the Commissioner of Police, to approve or otherwise, the exhibition of cinematographic films to the public. This paper traces the historical development of film censors in Malaysia, from the time film first arrived in Malaya in 1898, the legislation that controlled and censored the content of films which then leads to the appointment of policemen as Censors, and the development of the system which sets the foundation of film censorship for more than a century, until today, in Malaysia. Historically, the current system and policies of film censorship in Malaysia was a legacy by the British since late 18th century.

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