Fahmi holds major town halls with local creatives
The minister remains committed to bringing reforms to the industry and reiterated that he keeps an open channel
MINISTER of Communications and Digital Fahmi Fadzil organised two major town halls yesterday to interact with local creatives and get a measure of the challenges they are facing.
A session on Puspal guidelines was held in the morning with venue owners and event organisers followed by a town hall with local musicians in the evening.
“The reason why we wanted to have this session really is to have a two-way conversation. Today is 101 days since I assumed this office. In 101 days, there were 101 challenges, 101 things I had to learn and re-learn,” he said during the Puspal town hall meeting.
“As someone who was previously involved with the arts and creative sector before this, I understand the position you are in. “Over time, we saw the impact of the economy and pandemic on venues, live performances, music, theatre and so much more which faced immense pressure,” he added.
Present during the town halls were Deputy Communications and Digital Minister Teo Nie Ching and Communications and Digital Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Mohammad Mentek, who is also Puspal Committee chairman.
The ministry of communications intends to organise more of these sessions to better understand the state of the local industry. A town hall on the Malaysian film industry has been scheduled to take place next week.
“When those who are participating in the industry can help us understand how to make our processes faster and more efficient, then I believe we can drive the industry forward.
“We want to listen to you to get your feedback and examine what changes need to be made. We don’t want to be in a situation where we end up far behind. What can we do to drive Malaysia’s economy forward? What can we do to one-up our neighbours?
“I am prepared to lend my ear to meet with all of you to hear your concerns and challenges the industry is facing so that we can come out of the pandemic more resilient.” During the session, Fahmi also spoke about the need to be more tolerant of our differences, and that these traits should be celebrated.
“We must remember this year we are celebrating the 60th anniversary of the formation of Malaysia and we need to remember the aspirations for this country to be moderate and progressive. These were words used by our founding fathers.
“I bring this up in the context that when we discuss cultural events and arts, we remember what their aspirations are,” he concluded. Fahmi’s call for tolerance comes amidst criticism for his inaction to support the filmmakers behind ‘Mentega Terbang’ who are being investigated by the police and were recently subjected to death threats.
– The Vibes, March 17, 2023