MCO: Communications Ministry to help production houses with loans from Penjana, says Saifuddin

Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the ministry was concerned that many players in the local film and arts industry were affected by the implementation of the MCO and CMCO as they could not operate then. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the ministry was concerned that many players in the local film and arts industry were affected by the implementation of the MCO and CMCO as they could not operate then. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 — The Communications and Multimedia Ministry will be focusing on assisting local production houses to produce more movies and dramas in the next six months, through soft loans totalling RM100 million under the National Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana).

Its minister, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, said the ministry was concerned that many players in the local film and arts industry were affected by the implementation of the movement control order (MCO) and conditional MCO as they could not operate then.

“Therefore, in these six months, we will be utilising the funds allocated under Penjana and any other available funds in the best way possible, because we understand that no shooting was done in the past three months.

“There were small production houses which had no jobs for three months and when they wanted to resume shooting, they could not do it because of lack of funds. Hence, the soft loan is provided,” he told reporters here today.

He said this after visiting veteran actor Abu Bakar Juah, 72, who is suffering from liver cancer complications, at his home in Alam Damai, Cheras here in conjunction with the ‘Ziarah Kasih’ programme organised by the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas).

During the visit, Saifuddin also presented aid to Abu Bakar, who had served as Taiping Prison director before he retired in 2005 .

Meanwhile, Saifuddin said the permission for the film industry to resume operations would benefit not only the industry players but also the economy as a whole.

“Others will also benefit from it. When there’s shooting, there will be needs for food and transportation services. This production of movies and dramas creates job opportunities directly for many people,” he said. — Bernama

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