Karyawan questions separate body for music industry

Persatuan Karyawan Malaysia hopes the Minister of Communications and Multimedia Saifuddin Abdullah will reconsider the idea of having a separate body for the music industry.

The current move toward putting all creative content under Finas would be ideal for the industry now.

The creative content industry is in serious trouble and we need immediate attention from the government to address the pressing issues.

Urgent action is needed to assist those who have been hit hard by the movement control order (MCO).

With its structure in place, Finas has already started work in earnest.

A special committee to look into the affairs of the music industry has been set up.

It comprises credible bodies that have a long history of operation and achievements.

We should not let a few disgruntled individuals undermine the good work that is being done for the music industry by Finas.

These people have no track record in the industry yet claim that they have all the solutions to bring about a revival of the industry.

Further, they run down Finas as incompetent and incapable of achieving the kind of miracles they profess to create to solve the industry’s problems.

I must admit that Finas had in the past been mismanaged and abused by certain individuals but that is all in the past.

The new management, comprising some capable people have already proven that they are working hard to repair all the damage done to the good name of Finas.

They are determined to make Finas a beacon of hope for industry players and assist them to succeed in this difficult environment.

The new chairman Zakaria Abdul Hamid has proven himself to be a capable leader, visiting practitioners who are in difficulty and showing the caring side of Finas.

Aside from that, the new Finas Board has also allowed film shooting to resume while looking into the music industry’s issues.

It is currently assisting Karyawan in efforts to reopen the entertainment industry to allow local entertainers to start working again.

To have a separate body for music might be something that should come at a later time.

Firstly, it will take time to set it up and the first thing would be to pass an Act of Parliament to approve the setting up of the body.

This will probably take a few years before the draft is ready for passing.

Secondly, it would require millions of taxpayer’s money to set up such a body with its own building, equipment, and staff, all which already exist in Finas.

Thirdly, it will take time to train the necessary staff to match the administrative capabilities of the Finas team, which is already familiar with music industry players, many of whom are active in the film industry as well.

I call upon Saifuddin to stick to the original plan of having the entire creative content industry under Finas’ control as each of the elements such as film, animation, documentaries, advertising, and gaming all have elements of music in them.

It makes sense for Finas to be in charge of the entire industry so that proper coordination can exist between the various sectors.

That way, Finas can look holistically at the entire spectrum of the creative content industry without having to refer to other bodies.

The Finas Act can easily be amended by changing the word “film” to “creative content” and they will then have the authority to act on the issues facing the entire industry.

These disgruntled people who have been campaigning among music industry players, trying to convince them that Finas is incompetent and incapable of administering the music industry, are trying to justify the need for a separate body.

If they wish to be represented, they should join one of the bodies in the Special Music Committee and make their voices heard.

The minister cannot be entertaining the divergent views of the 30,000-odd people in the music industry.

Various associations have been set up to represent them and if they don’t wish to be a part of the current crop of bodies, they would have to go through the process of setting up their own bodies.

Then, they must prove themselves to be reliable associations and produce achievements before being considered for admission into the Special Music Committee.


Freddie Fernandez is president of Karyawan.

The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.