KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20 — The government is seriously looking at funding to boost the creative industry, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah today.

Saifuddin said the Communications and Multimedia Ministry and the Finance Ministry are looking at funds which had not been fully optimised for the creative industry, such as the 11th Malaysia Plan’s allocations for the sector.

Speaking at the “Creative Industry Forum 2021: Focus on Art and Culture” here today, he said the ministry has a number of plans for the industry, including producing more patriotic films as well as the “Road to Oscar” programme under the purview of the National Film Development Corporation (FINAS).

“As for music, we are now drafting the first draft of the Akta Perbadanan Muzik (Music Corporation Act), so there should be a ‘Road to Grammy’ too,” said Saifuddin. 

Meanwhile, he said the government had taken swift measures to cushion the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on the sectors, including the creative industry, under the Economic Recovery Plan (Penjana).

This included an allocation of RM225 million for the arts, culture, entertainment and events industry, he added.

“MyCreative, which also includes the Cultural Economy Development Agency (Cendana), was given the mandate to implement and distribute these funds via a variety of schemes and initiatives.

“This includes the Live Event Grants, Digital Marketing Grants, Matching Investments Schemes, Fast Track, Low-Interest Soft Loans, and the Digital Velocity Programme, comprising digital marketing and promotion training, connectivity assistance and advisory services,” he said.

Meanwhile, the processing of applications and distribution of funds is well underway, he said, adding that 1,748 applications worth RM73.4 million for various grants are currently being reviewed by MyCreative.

“Cendana has already approved 234 applications worth about RM3.5 million, and a further 114 applications worth RM9.6 million have already been approved for distribution to successful applicants for the Fast Track Loans, Digital Marketing Grant and Velocity training under the Penjana Plan for the Creative Industries,” Saifuddin said.

He added that the ministry is currently amending the FINAS Act and looking at the need to establish a legal body to assist the talents in the creative industry when it comes to matters such as intellectual property.

“We have to look at the bigger picture, bring everybody to the table and meet regularly,” he added.