Creative industry players launch online petition calling for the sacking of Finas chairman, CEO

Art Revolt claims that both Ahmad Idham (pice) and Zakaria had marginalised local creative industry players. — Bernama pic
Art Revolt claims that both Ahmad Idham (pice) and Zakaria had marginalised local creative industry players. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 8 — A petition calling for the resignation of National Film Development Corporation (Finas) chief executive officer Ahmad Idham Ahmad Nadzri and its chairman Zakaria Abdul Hamid has been launched by creative and film industry players, on the grounds that they have failed to address welfare and other concerns within the industry.  

The petition was launched yesterday by a group calling itself Art Revolt and has garnered 3,292 out of the 5,000 signatures it had targeted at the time of writing.

In its petition, the group stated that both Ahmad Idham and Zakaria had marginalised the community and allegedly made statements indicating that the community is not contributing to the nation’s economy.

“We feel more depressed when the chairman and CEO of Finas made statements indicating that we are not contributing to the country’s economy on their social media posts which only displayed their shallow thoughts that they do not deserve to hold important positions.

 “As of today, our patience is off-limit and it is high time to stop from following the instructions of the chairman and CEO of Finas. We hereby petition that we, the Malaysian creative and film industry players, unite in urging the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia Malaysia to remove the Chairman and CEO of Finas from their positions.

 “Starting today, we, the creative and film industry players, will continue to rise up against the injustice on our work until the establishment of a Union in defending and building the future ecosystem that will be the catalyst for Malaysian creative and film industry,’’ said the petition.

Ahmad Idham took the reins of Finas again in June 2020 after his contract for the position had ended in March the same year.

Zakaria is a new arrival at Finas, being appointed on May 2020, following the departure of Datuk Hans Isaac in the same month.

Following the implementation of the movement control order (MCO) in January of this year, the creative industry was not listed under economic activities that were allowed to operate.

In recent days, several industry players, such as the Malaysian Television Producers Association and the Malaysian film producer association, urged the government allow filming activities to continue under MCO as their livelihoods are dependent on the completion of their projects.

On February 4, Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob called for creative industry players to submit their suggested standard operating procedures (SOP) to the National Security Council (NSC) to deliberate on allowing the industry to operate amid the MCO.

Yesterday, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah stated that a proposed SOP to allow filming, as well as live events, will be presented to the NSC.

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