Loke calls for fresh film award nominations

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PETALING JAYA: The MP for Seremban, Anthony Loke Siew Fook, has called for fresh selections to the Malaysian film awards at Filem Festival Malaysia 2016 (FFM) and to cancel the current nominations.

In a statement today, Loke said he had contacted communications and multimedia minister Salleh Said Keruak who had promised to look into the issue as soon as he returned to Kuala Lumpur from Sabah on Monday.

He urged Salleh to immediately instruct the national film development corporation Finas to conduct fresh nominations for its awards by taking into account other quality films such as Ola Bola and Jagat.

An uproar erupted, with accusations of racial segregation, after the two films were disqualified from the main awards and placed in the non-Bahasa Malaysia category.

Loke said he hoped Salleh would be able to take positive action, correct the situation and stop the FFM segregation issue from tarnishing a month in which Malaysians celebrate our Merdeka Day on August 31 and Malaysia Day on September 16.

Loke, who is DAP national organising secretary, said that films like Ola Bola which promoted national unity should be encouraged and celebrated for instilling positive messages and the spirit of togetherness among the various communities.

“Malaysians are sick of all the racial sentiments being played out in the national political arena. Don’t pollute the film business with racist sentiments,” he said.

Actor and filmmaker Afdlin Shauki has announced a boycot of this year’s festival, while cinematographer Mohd Noor Kassim has withdrawn his nomination for best cinematography for his work on Bravo 5.