Govt mulls setting up special body to protect welfare of singers, says deputy minister

Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin said the ministry was also looking for ways to further increase the collection of funds that could be channelled to artistes in the film industry. ― Picture by Hari Anggara
Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin said the ministry was also looking for ways to further increase the collection of funds that could be channelled to artistes in the film industry. ― Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 — The government is mulling to set up a new body to oversee the local music industry as well as to protect the welfare of Malaysian singers, said Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin.

He said previously, there was an institution under the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry (KPDNKK) that played the role to raise funds to assist singers, but now there was none.

“The ministry believes that the creation of such a body will help our singers the same way the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas) has helped actors and other parties involved in the country’s film industry.

“Therefore, Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa is discussing ways to assist our singers, either through Finas or other bodies,” he said.

Zahidi said this when appearing as a guest on the Selamat Pagi Malaysia programme broadcast by RTM today, which discussed the [email protected] (KoFI) programme in Padang Besar, Perlis.

Commenting further, he said the ministry was also looking for ways to further increase the collection of funds that could be channelled to artistes in the film industry.

“For example, maybe we can raise the tax on movie tickets of between 30 and 40 per cent as additional funds to assist them,” he said.

On the KoFI programme, Zahidi hoped it could highlight interesting locations in Perlis which could become filming locations for production companies including from abroad.

He said this was in line with the ministry’s aim to expand the creative industry’s contribution to Gross Domestic Product which now stood at 1.9 per cent or RM29 billion. — Bernama

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