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Novelist adapts Astro First telemovie, credits herself for story, gets called out by director
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Novelist adapts Astro First telemovie, credits herself for story, gets called out by director

by Deric EctOctober 17, 2016

OVER the weekend, news surfaced that Umie Isa‘s original story for Astro First, Inayah, was republished as a novel without any credit to the original author. The new book, Inayah: Aku Ingin Pulang, has instead been credited to former entomologist turned novelist Maria Kajiwa.

inayah-450-x-721Umie Isa’s name only appears once in the inside of the book. According to actor Azhan Rani no notification was given to the author before the adaptation appeared on the market.

The reveal provoked a strong reaction from Umie’s spouse, Faisal Ishak — director of Aliff Dalam 7 Dimensi and Juvana 3 — who took to Instagram to air his grievance.

How can you simply plagiarise somebody else’s work and go on Book Launches and Fairs and selling them as if it is yours @Mariakajiwa ??? I am not questioning the publication if it’s under the contract… but to just use your name and not acknowledge the ACTUAL WRITER??? NEVERMIND IF She happens to be my wife, but she is the WRITER and not YOU!!!!!!! MARIA KAJIWA!!!!! What? Mention her name in the inside of the book??? A mention??? This is unethical and an intellectual property violation!!

Faisal Ishak

The original story was first written in 2015 for a supertelefilm starring Azhan Rani and Sari Yanti.

According to author Umie Isa, the script was a challenge because she was a Muslim and she did not want to contradict her own religious views by writing about hauntings. The end result was an Islamic horror film directed by her husband Faisal and also starred their son in a twin role.

Inayah revolves around a couple who returns to Kuala Lumpur after a long stay in New York. Muhammad and Aisya bring their twin sons to a new house, but one of them starts behaving oddly.

Things get messy when Muhammad’s mother Suraya tries to involve a bomoh, an idea which does not sit well with Aisya who happens to be a devout Muslim. Their relationship suffers, and new discoveries are made.

14719643_913403135431062_5297757973962031104_nUmie gave birth to her daughter Leia two weeks after the film was completed, and as such claims that Inayah is a personal story. The Astro film of the same title meanwhile has yet to see a release date, though the novel has gone on sale through Karya Seni.

Umie responded to the issue detailing the writing process and her hopes in becoming a better Muslim.

I told myself that InsyaAllah with this publication of the novel Inayah, more people will benefit from the message that I wished to convey about khurafat and superstitions. With more people reading this book, more reward will I reap for my Akhira. And I need that. My scale are heavier on the left side I’m sure, so for every opportunity I get to dispatch khayr even when I’m not aware of it, SubhanAllah! Alhamdulillah! The promise of Jannah is real, the reward for dispatching khayr is true, and the acknowledgment by Allah the Almighty on the day of judgment is the only thing that matters, really.

Umie Isa

Maria Kajiwa, real name undisclosed, was born in Pahang in 1962. She graduated from Universiti Sains Malaysia, Pulau Pinang, and has been based in Melaka since. After retiring, she began a career as a writer of novels and short stories, and has even found herself in the pages of Utusan Malaysia.


Follow Faisal Ishak on Instagram and keep an eye out on #inayah for all the latest updates!

About The Author
Profile photo of Deric Ect
Deric Ect
Deric is contributor and former managing editor of The Daily Seni.
7 Comments
  • Hanis
    October 19, 2016 at 5:18 pm

    So far As i know. Its astro proprties now. So i dont think that u have the power to mad at it and its not maria kajiwa fault. She is great. The book will help ur film sale tho. Its maria kajiwa!! One of the biggest name in horror genre book in malaysia. So pls respect. Script is just script . But to bring the script into a novel, thats the true challenge. So pls respect her

  • Sury
    October 20, 2016 at 10:23 am

    My dear Hanis… Respect needs to be earned. How great or mighty, Maria Kajima is, she has lost that respect by many with what she just did.
    Yes, agree writing a novel is challenging but the act of plagiarism is even more challenging to many, but Maria Kajima, did it effortlessly…
    Just put yourself in the writer’s shoes, being pregnant whilst creating the story (Hmm.. can I say this is rather challenging ????) After putting in all the effort and when the show was not even released, you found out some great writer has written your story without you being informed & acknowledged rightfully (Oops.. I didn’t even mention permission). How would you feel… ???? See if you would still remain calm and say what you have just commented above.

    FYI, without a script, there’s no story about Inayah, apatah lagi novel…

    Whatever it is, Allah knows best, kita doakan yg terbaik utk semua… ????????
    Ada hikmahnya di sebalik setiap kejadian.
    Insya’Allah
    Ma’af Zahir Batin

    • October 22, 2016 at 12:49 am

      To Sury,

      Bagaimana dengan penulis skrip yang adaptasi novel ke drama? Dari novel dijadikan skrip. Tup2 nama penulis skrip yang ada di montaj drama. Nama penulis novel pun alahai, kat hujung-hujung montaj dan title kredit yang tak ada seekor umat pun gigih nak baca. Ada novelist meroyan? Yang bising2 ni tahu ke bayaran yang penulis skrip dapat dengan novelis dapat bila novel dia diadaptasi ke drama? Lagi sikit dari penulis skrip dapat untuk bayaran satu episod drama 60 minit (40 muka surat je pun skrip). Kalau drama adaptasi novel tu 24 episod, tak ke penulis skrip dapat puluhan ribu? Sedangkan novelis bergantung pada royalti aje untuk income dia. Tapi biasanya, novel yang di adaptasi ke drama semuanya dah meletop-letop di pasaran. Rating tinggi sebab novelnya bestseller. Ada novelis tuntut apa-apa dari penulis skrip yang terkadang ada yang mengubah jalan cerita sesuka hati dia tanpa pengetahuan penulis? Penulis novel pasrah aje, sebab penulis novel tahu, semuanya ada dalam kontrak.

      Lagi satu, kalau drama adaptasi novel tu tercalon kat mana-aman anugerah, kalau tercalon dalam kategori ‘Penulis Skrip Terbaik’, dan penulis skrip tu memang melalui drama adaptasi novel tu, penulis skrip yang naik atas pentas, ambil awards dan hadiah tanpa segan silu malahan dengan bangga sekali sebab dari drama ADAPTASI NOVEL tu dia menang anugerah Penulis Skrip Terbaik. bagi ucapan pun tak sebut pasal novelis… inikan lagi menjemput novelist ke majlis tersebut. Ada penulis meroyan sampai Daily Seni ni gigih buat posting macam ni? Ada??? Wal hal itu idea novelist. Drama adaptasi itu IDEA NOVELIST. TANPA NOVELIST AGAK-AGAK DRAMA TU AKAN WUJUD ke dan menobatkan dia penulis terbaik???

      Bukannya dalam novel tu tak dinyatakan nama penukis skrip pun, ada dinyatakan di muka surat paling awal dalam novel tu. Ada nama NOVELIS kat muka depan drama adaptasi novel? Ada ke??? Tapi ada novelist meroyan?

      Anda dah baca ke novel Inayah dan dah baca ke skripnya? kalau belum silalah baca. Skrip hanya 90 pages paling tebal untuk telefilem 90 minit. Novelis ni berjaya adaptasi ke 500++ pages novel. Ingat senang? 70%nya adalah idea novelist sebab kena kembangkan cerita. Incase novel ni bestseller, tak ke akan bawa effect pada telefilemnya nanti? Semua ni perancangan pihak TV untuk lariskan filem dia lagi2 telefilem ni akan di tygkan di Astro First… nak tengok kena beli! Bukan free cik hadek hoii.. ingat Astro nak rugi macam tu aje? Sekurang-kurangnya dengan cara ni, boleh dia orang naikan sales telefilem dia orang kat astro first. Lainlah kalau telefilem ini diarahkan oleh pengarah terkenal dunia ala-ala james wan dan semua filem arahannya pecah panggung, lainlah ceritanya.

      Yang banyak bising ni semua tak tahu apa-apa sebenarnya. Terus main tuduh dan hentam novelis. Sedangkan projek ni pun sama aje macam projek yang Penulis Skrip dapat. Job adaptasi skrip ke novel ni, TIADA ROYALTI! Sama macam penulis skrip dapat job buat skrip novel ke drama. Ada novelist pertikaikan bayaran yang penulis skrip dapat? Ada ke?

      Ada juga artis yang tiba-tiba meroyan untuk isu ini sedangkan kerja artis tu cuma berlakon, hafal skrip dan dapat payment. Tapi menyibuknya macamlah tahu segala segi. Pengarahnya pun sama aje, meroyan tetiba, kat IG dan FB, bila kena hentam dengan fakta yang betul, terus delete comment dan block.. hahaha… memalukan. Lain kali kalau tak nak isu mcm ni jadi, buat siaran TV sendiri. kalau setakat bergantung perjanjian dengan pihak TV orang lain, lupakanlah. Apa2 pun sebelum drama diterima kan ada kontrak dan perjanjian. Tak baca ke, isi perjanjian? sudahnya memalukan diri sendiri aje…

      Kalau tak setuju dengan terma dan syarat Astro, hantar stesen lain. melambak stesen lain, kan? Kalau memang betul projek adaptasi skrip Inayah ni tak betul, terus merujuk pad apihak TV dan Producer drama, bukan terus hentam novelist. Novelist cuma terima job yang diberikan. Macam penulis skrip dapat. Apa masalahnya? Ada ke penulis skrip berkongsi payment dengan novelist kalau dapat job adaptas novel ke drama. Ada? Semua ni sebenarnya sebab duit. Bukan sebab nama pun. Nak jugak royalti jualan dari novel tu, sedangkan novelist sekadar di bayar sekali, bukan ada royalti. Tak tahu apa2, memekak tak tentu pasal… memalukan sungguh…

    • Hanis
      October 26, 2016 at 9:48 pm

      Lol btw anda bercakap macam Maria kajiwa buat kerja senang gile tanpa ada dugaan wow. Wow x sabar nak tunggu filem inayah keluar. Nak compare kan novel and filem. Oh btw i guess tu salah satu benda yang faisal takut hahahah . I mean wow we are talking about maria kajiwa. One of the Best horror writer in malaysia. Tunggu Ah korang!

  • Sury
    October 20, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Sorry the” ??????” Tu semua are actually emoji (Peace). It couldn’t be reflected here. Mohon maaf :))

    • Hanis
      October 26, 2016 at 9:43 pm

      Sury pls just shut your mouth tho. Ask faisal too <3 cause he is nothing. I mean lol. Kalau dia berhenti mengarah pun x menjejaskan industri seni malaysia btw :3 . Status faisal macam diseksa omg. Dia punya desperate nak attention. Omg kasihanilah i. Bila orang komen benda benar . Dia block or delete lolll

  • Adam
    December 6, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    Well done to MK. Beliau dah berjaya meng “maria kajiwa” kan cerita ni. Srs best. Faisal, dah ready untuk dibanding-bandingkan ? Lolll

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