Malaysian artistes are petitioning against the National Film Development Corporation (Finas) over a proposal for the music industry to come under its jurisdiction.
The petition ‘Music industry opposes Finas, wants regulatory body chosen by active members’ was launched last Friday by local music label head Prashan Chitty and has since garnered more almost 1,600 signatures and counting.
It is addressed to Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.
“We fully object the move except if the industry representative’s selection is conducted in a transparent and fair manner among our own practitioners,” the petition’s description read.
“This is because we have no confidence in the current administration of Finas, including those who once supervised the music industry but didn’t make a positive impact.”
It went on to explain that the domestic music industry needs to be managed by competent people who have a vision in order to take the industry to greater heights.
Veteran songstress Salamiah Hassan whose career has spanned over 50 years said she signed the petition because “it’s not too late to keep the music alive with the right person.”
Renowned Malaysian artistes have also spoken out against the proposal by sharing the petition on the social media platforms.
Singer Zee Avi urged anyone who is involved in the music industry to sign the petition.
Seasoned composer and pianist Aubrey Suwito took to Twitter encouraging the music fraternity to oppose the proposal and included the hashtag #musicpeopleformusicindustry in his tweet.
“Finas is so funny, can’t take care of the film industry’s talents but want to supervise the music industry,” said rapper Altimet.
Actor and director Bront Palarae questioned Finas’ plans to govern the music industry, saying it had plenty of unresolved issues within the film industry that required its attention.
“Does the music industry need an agency? Yes.
“Should Finas take care of the industry? No.
“Why? Because since its formation on July 26, 1980 it has been plagued by a number of basic issues – it should not further burden itself,” the Ola Bola actor wrote.
Salamiah, Zee, Aubrey, Altimet and Bront were not the only ones who lent their names to the petition.
The petition has been signed by many prominent names in the music industry, including Yuna, Ayda Jebat, Roshan Jamrock, Waris, Soo Wincci, AG Coco, Anas Amdan, JD Wong and Damian Mikhail.
Even singers Najwa Mahiaddin, the daughter of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Gaddafi Ismail Sabri, the son of Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob joined in the list of those against the Finas move.
Big names supporting the move also include musicians and performers Ezra Kong, Alena Murang, Lea Ismail, Eyza Bahra, Juwita Suwito as well as those from the creative industry in general, including Nadia Aqilah, Tony Eusoff, Jehan Miskin, Chelsea Ng and Susan Lankester.
The petition was also signed by members of the public who said that the national film agency had nothing to do with the music scene and that both industries should be governed separately.
Last year, Finas chief executive officer Ahmad Idham Ahmad Nadzri said there was a possibility of the music industry being placed under the purview of the government agency.
Ahmad Idham explained that singers and musicians are part of the creative industry, just like actors and filmmakers.
On Friday, Finas’ new chairman Zakaria Abd Hamid said in a statement the government agency was concerned about the well-being of those in the creative industry as a result of the movement control order (MCO) which dealt a heavy blow to their earnings.
Zakaria said Finas was in the midst of identifying a ‘quick win’ solution to solve the problems faced by the music industry and hopes industry stakeholders will give them a chance to formulate a suitable action plan. – MMO