IN a shocking turn of events, it was recently revealed that Gabungan Persatuan Karyawan Filem Malaysia (GAFIM) sent an official letter to Communications and Multimedia Minister Dato Seri Panglima Dr. Mohd Salleh Tun Said Keruak in an attempt to hit at National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (FINAS) Director-General Dato Kamil Othman.
In a letter signed by association President Dato Jurey Rosli, GAFIM cited four reasons for the Communications and Multimedia Ministry to take action against Dato Kamil Othman. Among these are FINAS’s allegedly “obscure direction” and Kamil’s “stategy of blaming past director-generals and the lack of standard operating procedures” during each meeting with the industry.
Sent on 8 March 2016, GAFIM’s letter called for Salleh Tun Said Keruak to monitor FINAS in making sure that the development of Malaysia’s film industry “aligns with the rakyat’s needs with priority given to the bumiputera“.
Pihak GAFIM memandang serious hal dalaman yang berlaku di FINAS bagaimana Ketua Pengarah boleh membuat tindakan-tindakan yang seolah beliau menerajui syarikat dan bukan agensi kerajaan. GAFIM dengan rendah diri tanpa prejudis memohon YB Menteri supaya FINAS dipantau bagi memastikan agenda pembangunan filem Malaysia terlaksana dengan mendahulukan kepentingan rakyat manakala memperkasakan BUMIPUTERA diberi keutamaan.
— Dato Jurey Rosli, 8 March 2016
GAFIM also brought up its controversial Switch Off memorandum in the letter, claiming that response to it has been “disappointing”.
Following the reveal of Jurey’s letter, two significant industry associations have left GAFIM. As of 27 April, these include Persatuan Pekerja Profesional Filem Malaysia (PROFIMA) and the Film Directors Association Malaysia (FDAM) who both decided to take their bows during separate committee meetings held on 26 April 2016.
EDIT: Leon Tan, CEO of DragonSlate Media and Vice President of the Post-Production, Animation & Creative Content Association Malaysia (POSTAM) has just confirmed that POSTAM has left GAFIM as of yesterday. In a comment on Facebook, he provides his perspective on GAFIM’s move.
The letter Jurey wrote was a poor and pathetic example of what GAFIM concerns itself with – supposed “issues” which have no impact whatsoever to help progress the film industry. They fear the necessary change needed to make our industry better.
— Leon Tan, 28 April 2016
Datuk Abdul Rahim Awang, Honourary Secretary of FDAM, sent a statement to BH Online yesterday stating that the decision comes after FDAM deemed GAFIM unethical in its dealings, thus jeopardising all eleven associations under GAFIM. FDAM also criticised GAFIM’s poor leadership which neglects to take into account the needs and opinions of all aforementioned associations.
When asked to explain their departure, PROFIMA stated that their time with GAFIM has naturally come to an end. “Sudah tiba masanya,” a PROFIMA representative simply spoke on the phone.
GAFIM President Jurey Rosli also heads Persatuan Penerbit Television Malaysia (PTVM) and the Creative Content Industry Guild Malaysia (CCIG).
Detractors have accused all three associations including GAFIM of failing to take meaningful action and failing to optimise government funds. It is known that RM3,000,000 of state funding has gone towards CCIG, but the guild still suffers from a weak presence and lack of significant activity.
In a previous poll on our website, more than half of our respondents claimed not to have heard of CCIG, while the rest mostly voted to stop spending taxpayer money on the guild. Nobody responded positively to the poll question.
Jurey in particular has made international trips to the United Kingdom and Australia to study the guild systems employed by more established film industry. However, no measures have been implemented by CCIG to introduce a similar working system locally.
GAFIM was first formed in 1985 as an umbrella organisation catering to the need to facilitate, organise and bring members of the creative industry together. Founded by Tan Sri Jins Shamsudin, Dato Ahmad Daud and Dato A. Rahman Hassan, GAFIM has been led by Jurey for the past five years.
What do you think?
Keep an eye out for a follow-up, as we reach out to PROFIMA, FDAM and FINAS for their statements.