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Thursday, 27 September, 2001, 17:33 GMT 18:33 UK
Ben Stiller comedy upsets Malaysia
Ben Stiller
Ben Stiller plays a clueless supermodel
A new comedy starring Ben Stiller could be banned in Malaysia because it includes a plot to assassinate the country's prime minister.

The Home Affairs Ministry's Film Censorship Board has viewed the Zoolander and called it "definitely unsuitable".

A spokeswoman for the department said no official ban had yet been imposed but local distributors would be expected to exercise "discretion".

In the film Stiller plays brainless supermodel Derek Zoolander who is talked into killing the Malaysian leader.

The murder is to retaliate against plans to ruin the fashion industry by raising the minimum wage for workers in the country.

Shocking: Time-traveller Powers (New Line Cinema)
Austin Powers was snubbed by Malaysian officials
The film is due for release in the US on Friday, where it has been given a 13-rating.

But Malaysia's main cinema operator, Golden Screen Cinemas, said they had not picked up the rights to the film.

Malaysia has a history of banning or heavily editing films which it considers offend its political or religious sensibilities.

In 1994, the Oscar-winning Schindler's List was blacklisted, sparking criticism from US Jewish groups.

Steven Spielberg's animated epic The Prince of Egypt was barred so as not to offend the country's majority Muslim population.

Malaysia also outlawed the second instalment of Mike Myers' spoof secret agent Austin Powers.

The international man of mystery was withdrawn because the Censorship Board says The Spy Who Shagged Me contained too much sexual innuendo.

The ban applied to cinemas, television, video compact discs and video tapes.

See also:

22 Jun 99 | Asia-Pacific
New Connery film 'distorts' Malaysia
12 Jul 99 | Entertainment
Malaysia bans Austin Powers
27 Jan 99 | Entertainment
Malaysia bans Spielberg's Prince
12 May 99 | Entertainment
The spy who shocked Singapore
06 Jul 99 | Tom Brook
Hollywood gets raunchy
10 Nov 98 | Entertainment
Row over King and I movie
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