KUALA LUMPUR (June 22): The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia (K-KOMM) will accelerate the initiative to establish cooperation with ASEAN countries to expand telecommunications and creative industry markets, said his minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa.
He said he mentioned during the post-Cabinet meeting on Wednesday morning that K-KOMM should launch the initiative immediately by creating a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with all ASEAN countries, giving priority to neighboring countries. .
“I would like to see a memorandum of understanding that clearly explores this cooperation without having to wait for people to invite us, we have to be brave and come out of our cocoon. We have a lot to offer in terms of cooperation with other countries in telecommunications and the creative industry, including film,” he said.
Annuar said this after attending the special screening of the film “Mat Kilau-Kebangkitan Pahlawan” (Mat Kilau-The Rise of A Warrior) at a Golden Screen cinema in a mall here on Wednesday night.
Elaborating, he said that ASEAN should be seen as an economic region and Malaysia should take advantage of it by initiating the first step to create cooperation with other countries.
He said ASEAN had hundreds of millions of people and had good purchasing power and economic growth.
“We have so much potential and in the film industry, we have to take our initiative. So, we should create MoUs…including cooperation in films,” he said.
Annuar said previous MoUs with other countries had mostly expired or were obsolete before the global onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“So they need to be renewed and that’s important because after Covid-19 all countries are rushing to restore their economies and their lives,” he said.
Regarding the Film In Malaysia Incentive (FIMI), Annuar hoped the fund would be used more widely by industry players due to its relatively small number of beneficiaries.
“We have a revolving fund of over RM300m but the takers are still low, it just happens that Covid-19 has emerged and so on. I want to see FIMI funds fully utilized with more initiatives for us to work with producers in other countries,” he said.
He also asked the National Film Development Corporation (FINAS) to set up a special fund to encourage the making of films that can be co-produced or co-directed between local and international industry players to expand the film market.
Commenting on “Mat Kilau – Kebangkitan Pahlawan,” Annuar called on local film industry activists to produce more patriotic-themed works with historical value.
Indeed, the country has many historical events that could be made into movies and shared with the masses, he said.
“I hope that more films with historical value and positive messages (will be made) for the community, because films are not only entertainment, but also have their distinctive roles (to play),” Annuar added.