KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3 — The National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas) expressed hope that the National Security Council (MKN) would consider allowing filming activities to be conducted during the Movement Control Order (MCO) to ensure that the creative industry economy is unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Finas chairman Zakaria Abdul Hamid said it is hoped that the council would at least allow indoor and studio shoots for dramas, telefilms, livestreaming, documentaries and sitcoms without audiences.
He said the consideration is based on the fact that the creative industry is a major contributor to the growth of the economy and the national gross domestic product (GDP).
He added that the enforcement of the MCO since Jan 13 has also affected the incomes and economy of the creative industry players as filming activities were not allowed in areas under the MCO.
“Strict compliance with the standard operating procedure (SOP) by creative industry players while conducting filming activities during the Conditional Movement Control Order have been proven as there were no COVID-19 clusters caused by the activities,” he said in a statement.
He added that Finas is prepared to assist MKN through its enforcement teams from the Finas Licensing and Enforcement Division to monitor and ensure SOP compliance if filming activities are allowed.
Zakaria said since the enforcement of the MCO this year, Finas has taken proactive steps by requesting that the MKN consider providing the exemption.
According to him, Finas has also sent a paper with indoor filming SOP suggestions to the MKN through the Communications and Multimedia Ministry’s Content Development Division but has yet to receive any feedback.
“As we all know, the creative industry in the country is run by freelance industry players. Therefore, the MCO enforcement since Jan 13 has impacted their sources of income as filming has not been allowed, especially with the extension of the MCO till Feb 18,” he said.
He added that Finas was optimistic about the government and MKN’s handling of the economic challenge and health crisis currently faced by the country.