KUALA LUMPUR: National diving queen Datuk Pandelela Rinong (pix) has been chosen as a national unity icon recently, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

National Unity Minister Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang said the ministry had installed Pandelela as an icon alongside leaders, artistes and sports legends as part of efforts to strengthen unity among the people.

He was replying to a supplementary question by Aminolhuda Hassan (PH-Sri Gading), who wanted to know if the ministry intended to take up his suggestion to produce a short film on a sports legend to promote unity.

The 29-year-old Pandelela, who is from Sarawak, was named the Sarawak State Sports Youth Icon in 2016 and Yakult Sports Icon in 2017.

Aaron said legendary actor the late Tan Sri P. Ramlee, who was made a unity icon, was promoted among youths in Malaysia in an exclusive exhibition on the national movie icon last March.

Meanwhile, he said the National Unity Ministry was not involved in the process of monitoring and editing dramas and films as matters related to film production and shooting come under the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS).

He said the granting of approval for a film’s content before public screening was the responsibility of the Film Censorship Board (LPF).

Aaron said the ministry’s role was to monitor any issues concerning harmony and unity through the e-SEPAKAT system and implement programmes for dialogues or discussions on inter-faith understanding.

“If it is a major issue, a community mediator in the Department of National Unity can be assigned to mediate it.

“If a problem is more serious, it is referred to the relevant authorities such as PDRM (Royal Malaysia Police), MCMC (Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission) and PBT (local authorities),“ he said.

He was responding to a question from Wan Razali Wan Nor (PN-Kuantan) on the ministry’s involvement in the process of monitoring and editing dramas and films to ensure that the works produced uphold the values of harmony and do not touch on racial and religious sensitivities. -Bernama