Why raise a stink over ‘Mentega Terbang’ film now when you did nothing for two years? Comms minister asks critics

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

SHAH ALAM, March 5 — Fahmi Fadzil today called out individuals and political parties playing up racial sentiments, accusing them of doing so to make the Anwar government look bad.

The communications and digital minister noted there are many people who are using Mentega Terbang to stir racial sentiments, claiming there are elements in the local film that are insensitive of Islam, the religion of the majority in Malaysia.

He added that the film was released in 2021 through online streaming service Viu, but observed that nobody raised any complaints until now.

“What I find interesting is this movie has been around since 2021. Who was governing then? Why no action at the time? Where were these people who are raising this issue now back then?

“We can’t be hypocrites, it’s not a new film. Therefore this issue is being played up by people who are trying to take advantage of it not by pouring oil over it but instead pouring orange juice all over it so they can eat it,” said Fahmi.

The Lembah Pantai MP was alluding to Terengganu PAS politician Hanafiah Mat who caught flak for his recent actions on social media.

Hanafiah, who is also Cukai assemblyman, posted a video where he was seen degrading the government’s Menu Rahmah by pouring orange juice over the rice, claiming that it lacked gravy.

He explained that the rice he was having in the video was dry, which was why he jokingly poured orange juice on it.

The video in question was allegedly posted by the assemblyman on TikTok; it went viral on Twitter.

As for Mentega Terbang, Islamic Affairs Minister Datuk Mohd Na’im Mokhtar said in a statement that Jakim has reviewed the content of the film and found that it went against Islam.

The Malaysian Islamic Development Department has been requested to provide a detailed assessment to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) for further action to be taken based on existing laws.

Fahmi said moving forward he wasn’t overly concerned about the way films were produced as most filmmakers had very good intentions.

“It’s the intentions of those who lack gravy in their rice, who have ulterior motives, who want to pour orange juice on their plate due to lack of gravy. They want to add gravy but why add now and not when you were in charge?

“So since we are in charge now, we will definitely take action and investigate the matter to ensure everything complies with the law,” he said.

Mentega Terbang the film takes a look at the similarities and expressions of the major religions in Malaysia.

The story is about the journey of 15-year-old Aishah, who becomes curious about faith and the afterlife because of her mother’s declining health.

Following its release on Viu last January, the film has been criticised by some members of the public including local singer Caprice as well as by Parti Bumiputera Perkasa Malaysia (Putra), who lodged a police report on the film earlier this week.