National language no excuse, Khairy says about Film Fest


KUALA LUMPUR: The national language will not be jeopardised if language-based categories are done away with in the 28th Malaysia Film Festival Awards (FFM28), says Barisan Nasional Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin.

According to Khairy, films do not need to be divided based on language as long as local elements have been incorporated into their plots.

“There is no need for multiple categories. One is enough. That’s the beauty of multilingual Malaysia,” he said at a press conference here today.

“There are those who say that local films should be categorised by language. We should value films such as “Ola Bola” and “Jagat”. They are also local films.”

Khairy, who is also Youth and Sports Minister, noted that FFM’s categorisation of films would only divide society.

“BN Youth strongly supports 1Malaysia, and believes that one category is better,” he said.

Actor and producer Yusof Haslam said yesterday that Malaysian films should reflect the country’s national identity and as such should toe the national Malay-language policy, unless the policy was changed.

“That cannot be compromised, unless the higher-ups, ministers or prime minister asks for it (the policy) to be opened,” said Yusof, who also heads the Malaysia Film Producers Association.

Renomination is not an option for FFM28, but National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas) Director-General Kamil Othman said earlier a reconfiguration of the award categories was a possible option.

“I think there won’t be renomination, most probably if we do anything, we rearrange the way the awards are being arranged. Rearranging doesn’t mean creating new categories,” he said recently.