The Persatuan Penerbit Filem Malaysia (PFM) on Tuesday had a meeting with Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) representatives over summary judgments issued by the BSN against a number of its members.
Those who utilised the Dana Pinjaman Industry Kreatif but were unable to make repayments are now facing bankruptcy, prompting fears of a crippled film industry. The PFM spoke on this issue in a conference with BSN Deputy Chief Executive of Business Support, Ahmad Latfan Bin Mohd Amran.
The Dana is a RM200,000,000 fund provided by the government to aid the nation’s creative industry. It is currently being managed by the BSN which is cracking down on defaulters, issuing 37 summary judgments to the Dana’s debtors and guarantors.
“The priority is not to take legal action; the priority is to make arrangements for payments as soon as possible. But we need something, some commitment from you all,” stated Ahmad Latfan during the start of the conference.
Each member of the PFM was given the chance to explain their plight. One by one, each case was briefly reviewed and the BSN made a commitment to revisit payment proposals that were previously denied.
“The situation is unique to each individual,” Ahmad Latfan spoke. “This is why we have this discussion.
“We are not that cruel, legal action is not out priority. We are dealing with companies who show an inability to pay. We want to collect back the money, that’s all.”
Despite the heavy issue at hand, proceedings were surprisingly relaxed and peppered with light-hearted jokes and laughter. The BSN’s team was extremely efficient while Ahmad Latfan was understanding and patient throughout the 90 minutes of talks.
“I think your presence here shows that you are quite serious to me. Kalau tidak, tak datang lah kan.”
Also present were PFM members who have not yet utilised the funds but wanted to observe, along with those who were not yet implicated in the matter.
Ahmad Latfan lauded their decision to join, stating, “If you have financial problems, you should come before we issue legal action.”
“Legal action is our last resort.”
When asked if the BSN was willing to come up with a special deal for the PFM, Ahmad Latfan said that it was not in their power to do so as the Dana was initiated by the ministry.
“I think it would be good if all of you go to the ministry together and tell them your stories. Tell what you are facing in the current years and ask for a little bit of leeway [in terms of making repayments]. On our end, we do not have any authority to do that. If the ministry says you do not have to pay the 100%, we are OK with that.”
“The point of the funds is to help the industry to grow. We hope all these people pay back the money so we can help other people in the industry.”
Honorary secretary of the PFM, Zahrin Aris, stated, “At the moment this is just a preliminary appointment. After this we will follow up with individual producers because it’s going to be on a case by case basis.”
“We have to do this exercise to help all the producers. But this is the PFM being proactive,” he finished.