When Datuk Hans Isaac became National Film Development Corporation (Finas) chairman last year, he made a promise to himself that he would not benefit a single sen from his newfound appointment.
And true to his word, the actor, producer and director announced yesterday that he was “returning” his salary and allowances throughout his 13-month stint in Finas to the film industry.
“I am going to give every sen of what I received while in Finas to members of the industry who have been working hard behind the scenes and whose livelihoods were affected by the Movement Control Order (MCO) and the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) aimed at curbing Covid-19,” he said yesterday.
Hans (left) and fellow filmmaker Datuk Afdlin Shauki (right) in a recent meeting with Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.
“From Day One, I promised myself that I would not receive any monetary benefits from Finas, including salaries and allowances. I treated the appointment as a national service. Now that I am no longer with them, I am returning all the money I spent to the industry, specifically to cameramen, runners, make-up artists and others who work behind the scenes.
“Many of them have had their livelihoods jeopardised because filming was halted. They can come and see me, and I will also find them.”
Hans also said that he was “attacked” by several film industry associations during his tenure as chairman because he refused to “play politics”.
“I carried out my duty with transparency, and that made some individuals unhappy. From Day One, I already said that I had no political agenda serving in Finas,” he said.
Hans added that the creative industry should be free from politics which would only drag the industry down.
“When my contract in Finas was ended, I expected it and did not feel disappointed, because I did my best.”
However, Hans felt that it would have been better for the heads of Finas to complete their terms of office, regardless of a change in government.
“Changing the chairman whenever the government changes would make it difficult for change to be implemented by the corporation as the new team would have to start all over again,” he said.
Hans was appointed as Finas chairman on April 8 last year by the then Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo. He was replaced by Zakaria Abd Hamid on May 23. – NST