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PUSPAL is the Central Agencies Committee for Applications for Filming and Performances by Foreign Artistes (Agensi Pusat Permohonan Penggambaran Filem Dan Persembahan Artis Luar Negara). It decides whether or not a foreign artist can perform, or whether a foreign movie can be filmed, in Malaysia. 

What you need to know:

Formed in 2001 and managed by the Ministry of Communication and Multimedia (MCM), PUSPAL is meant to work as a one-stop process to coordinate and consider all applications.

PUSPAL provides in-depth guidelines (first published in 2005, and last revised in 2010) which describe how to apply, what is allowed (and prohibited) in the proposed performance or filming, rejections, responsibilities, breach of contract, and the documents needed for submission to each agency.


Who is in the committee?

The committee is chaired by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, with the Deputy Secretary General or any officer of the MCM assigned by the Chairman in place as the Acting Chairman.

The rest of the members of the committee are made up of the following (or their representatives):

  • Director General of FINAS or representative
  • Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Ministry of Home Affairs
  • Secretary of the Film Censorship and Enforcement Control Division
  • Secretary of the Publication and Quranic Text Control Division
  • The Royal Malaysian Police
  • Director of the Special Branch
  • Assistant Chief of the Inspector General of Police Secretariat (Corporate Communications)
  • Director General of the Department of Immigration of Malaysia
  • Ministry of Tourism and Culture
  • Secretary of the Policy and Strategic Planning (Culture) Division
  • Director General of the Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board
  • Director General of Istana Budaya
  • Director General of the Department of Culture and Arts
  • Secretary General of the Ministry of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government
  • Director General of the Kuala Lumpur City Hall
  • Director General of Customs, Royal Malaysian Customs Department
  • Director General of the Department of Islamic Development of Malaysia
  • Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia
  • Director of Assessment Branch
  • Director of the Non-Resident Branch
  • Associate members (ex-officio)
  • Secretariat: Secretariat Unit of JK-PUSPAL

* JK-PUSPAL may also invite any government agency to be present at the JK-PUSPAL meetings

How they decide

Each meeting held by the committee requires the attendance of at least 8 permanent members. Applications are accepted or rejected based by the majority of members in attendance and decisions are communicated to the applicants in writing, by telephone, fax or email or via MCM’s official website. Applicants who are unsatisfied with the committee’s decision may make a representation for consideration.


Does this refer to you? PUSPAL definitions

PUSPAL defines:

  • “Arts” as something that is “created with talent (competence), a product of a creation and description of art, something related to art, beauty (refined).”
  • Performance as “any artistic and cultural activities carried out in relation to the performing arts, whether in closed or open premises and whether entrance fees are charged or not.” This includes performances which take place in hotels, entertainment centres, entertainment premises, cultural centres, stadiums, TV stations, as well as any other premise deemed appropriate by JK-PUSPAL.
  • Film“according to the National Film Development Corporation Act 1981 which includes “feature films, short films, short subject films, trailers, documentaries, advertising filmlets and any recording on any material of any kind, including video tapes and discs, of any moving images, whether accompanied by sound or not, for the viewing of the public or any class of the public”.
  • “Filming” as any kind of filmed activity in the form of “interviews, documentaries, feature films, entertainment, commercial advertisements and/or other forms of filming carried out in Malaysia by foreign film production companies.”


Note that only foreign films which are filmed in Malaysia need to submit a PUSPAL application. Under the guidelines, foreign film production companies must be represented by a local film production company during the application process and the production period in Malaysia (this local company must hold a production license under FINAS). The project’s production crew must consist of at least 30% local crew members (who are members of the local film association and will be involved in technical work for the transference of expertise).


Foreign artistes brought in for inter-government filming programmes or cultural exchange programmes; foreign artistes under government invitation; foreign artistes preforming under the Cultural Cooperation Programme; foreign artistes working in Malaysia as expatriates whose contracts exceed one hundred and eighty (180) consecutive days.

How to apply?

For guidelines, click here.

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