KUANTAN, July 31 — The Communications and Multimedia Ministry (KKMM) plans to create specific legislation which will be responsible for and protect the national music industry, said its minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

He said that the music industry currently did not have any specific legislation or organisation compared to the film industry, which has the Malaysian National Film Development Corporation (Finas) Act 1981.

As such, Saifuddin said he would appoint officers to prepare the early draft, which is expected to be ready by the end of this year, apart from going through the consultation process with the stakeholders, especially those from the industry.

“We must have in-depth discussions because the music industry does not only involve one group, there are also singers, composers, lyricists and so on who cannot be sidelined when it comes to drafting this legislation.

“Among the main issues will be copyright, with many composers grumbling although we already have legislations, like the Copyright Act 1987. This matter must be further refined,” he said.

Saifuddin, who is also the Indera Mahkota Member of Parliament, said this at a press conference after attending a sacrificial ritual at Masjid Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi, Indera Mahkota 15, here today, which involved 40 mosques and several organisations in his parliamentary constituency.

He said the proposal to create specific legislation had also been voiced by local music enthusiasts, including leading musical figures, during a series of meetings held with industry players.

In another development, Saifuddin said KKMM was also looking into how it could help empower the local nasyid industry, which enjoyed its heyday back in the 90s.

He said that empowering the nasyid industry, which also involves songs based on spirituality, was among the issues he discussed with the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Datuk Seri Dr Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri recently.

“Certain Malaysian nasyid groups managed to penetrate the overseas market but they did it on their own. We should actually help and facilitate their efforts to succeed at the international level.

“Other than that, what is rarely known by many is that Malaysia is described as the home of contemporary nasyid among the international nasyid circle and we must use this to re-popularise this genre,” he said.

Saifuddin also welcomed Zulkifli’s proposal for Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) to increase broadcast time and quality of religious content, including talk show programmes, on its television and radio stations.

The proposal, he said, would be discussed in further detail by officers from KKMM and the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim).


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