Comms minister says law needs further updating to remain current, address industry reality

KUALA LUMPUR – The Communications and Digital Ministry will look into amendments to the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas) Act, in accordance with the Auditor-General’s Report 2021.

Following the cabinet meeting today, its minister Fahmi Fadzil said the current agency still has several shortcomings and will require additional amendments, as the act may not be relevant for current times.

“The issue is that it (Finas) was enacted years ago, and matters raised in the act may be far-fetched when faced with the current reality of the industry,” he said in a press conference in Putrajaya.

“Films’ financing, model, and medium are different now.”

Fahmi added that the structure of the agency’s board of directors is another issue to look into.

“If Finas’ board of directors only consists of veterans, who are detached from the filming process, how would this impact industry development? A sabbatical is needed. “Finas is looking into this matter and has brought me a draft (of the amendments), which has not been presented to the cabinet.”

Meanwhile, the Lembah Pantai MP assured that the ministry accepts feedback from the industry, and will include the appropriate ones.

He also revealed that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had instructed the ministry to view royalty issues affecting musicians and their heirs, including the heirs of the late Tan Sri P. Ramlee.

Fahmi said he will be meeting with the Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Ministry next week to examine aspects involving royalty payments, as well as the development of the music industry.

Earlier this week, Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub said a committee would be set up to discuss and act on issues related to the recording industry.

He said the committee would, among others, discuss and look for solutions to matters related to payments and calculation of royalties, as well as the setting up of a single body to resolve licensing body issues and protecting the rights of copyright owners.

Previously, the Auditor-General’s Report found that RM4 million from the Digital Content Fund was allocated to six companies, some of which were owned by family members of Finas board members.

– The Vibes, March 3, 2023




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