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The ‘Moral Panics’ behind television advertising regulation in Malaysia

Mokhtar, Aida (2011) The ‘Moral Panics’ behind television advertising regulation in Malaysia. In: Seminar on New Media and Islamic Issues: Challenges and Opportunities, 26 September 2011, Kuala Lumpur. (Unpublished)

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The bloody racial riots in May 1969 marked the underlying animosity between the dominant cultural groups which had been developing for some time in Malaysia (Mohamad, 1970). The National Cultural Policy 1971, by defining a common Malaysian culture, was the catalyst used by the government to bind the predominantly Malay, Chinese and Indian ethnicities. Establishing peace through commonality is important to achieve the government’s vision of a developed Malaysia in its own ‘mould’ in the year 2020 or Vision 2020 (Mohamad, 1991). Television advertisements in Malaysia are made to portray images of the Malaysian culture and promote a common roof between different ethnicities by the country’s television advertising regulatory authorities (Frith, 1987). In relation to this, the study attempted to examine the television advertising regulatory framework in Malaysia with the dearth of previous research studies. It focused on understanding ‘what’ decisions were made by regulatory authorities when approving television advertisements for Malaysian television and ‘why’. A thematic analysis on interviews with key regulatory authorities found that they based their decisions on the moral panics (intense concerns) of Malaysian viewers as defined by the ‘grassroots model’ (Goode and Ben-Yehuda, 2009). Malaysian viewers believe that television advertisements can affect behaviour and are most concerned by ‘foreign’ advertising images regarded as a threat to post-colonial Malaysian culture. The Film Censorship Board Malaysia in particular was most attentive to viewers’ complaints which influenced and reinforced their own (similar) concerns when examining television advertisements for screening. Local advertising practitioners express their doubts of the grassroots model of moral panic which guide the decision making of the Censorship Board and voice their opinions supporting the elite-engineering model of moral panic.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech/Talk)
Additional Information: 2646/73913
Uncontrolled Keywords: moral panics, television advertising regulation, Malaysia
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics > P87 Communication. Mass media
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences
Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences > Department of Communication
Depositing User: Dr. Aida Mokhtar
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2019 15:16
Last Modified: 14 Aug 2019 15:16
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/73913

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