'stop The Blame Game'

11 Aug

Rahman (left) and Aziz
Rahman (left) and Aziz

FINGER-pointing and name-calling “make not a healthy music industry”, says Malaysian Music Industry Academy Association (PAIMM) president and Performers And Artistes’ Rights (M) Sdn Bhd chairman Datuk Aziz Bakar.

He said Malaysian Artistes’ Association (Karyawan) president Freddie Fernandez’s recent criticisms of several associations representing the music industry were “a tad too personal” and no right-thinking association would “indulge in polemics” against other representatives of the industry.

“Associations that represent the music industry should not hurl barbs at each other. If one is not happy with the state of the industry and how other players work, then give suggestions on how to improve things instead of resorting to a blame game,” said Aziz.

“We have never commented on Karyawan’s goings-on as it would be interfering in its affairs. Similarly, we would like to remind him not to interfere in ours.”

It was recently reported in some Malay dailies that Fernandez claimed PAIMM under Aziz’s leadership had “failed to bring up the local music industry in the last decade” and that the seven-year-old Performance and Artists Rights Malaysia (Prism) leadership “lacked transparency”.

He also claimed that the Malaysian Association of Music Educationists (MAME), the Association of Malaysian Chinese Artistes (AMCA) and the Indian Recording Industry of Malaysia (Irim) “lacked member support” and that all the above-mentioned bodies, which are among 11 associations under the Malaysian Music Council (MMM), lacked the support of “real players” in the industry. Fernandez also claimed the National Consultative Council for the Arts and Entertainment Industry Malaysia (Mahkota) which includes MMM had been “inactive for a decade until recently”.

He criticised its chairman and MMM president Datuk A. Rahman Hassan’s recent proposal to increase the value of the local music industry to RM300 million annually in the next three years.

The proposal which Fernandez deemed “far-fetched” was tabled at a music seminar at the National Arts, Culture and Heritage Academy (Aswara) last month.

Fernandez reasoned that the sales of record music were way below their 1996 peak when the industry recorded RM315 million in sales.

He said the figure slipped to RM87 million in 2006 and dropped to RM67 million last year.

Aziz was speaking at a Press conference in the PAIMM office in Jalan Pangkor, Kuala Lumpur, last week.

It was also attended by Rahman, PAIMM general manager Jennifer Thompson, Prism general manager Ong Peng Chu, MMM secretary Gopal Krishnan, National Singers Association president M. Daud Wahid and veteran artistes Nash, Bob Lokman and Herman Tino who were previously associated with Karyawan.

Rahman said Fernandez should have asked Mahkota to state its action plan to achieve the RM300 million target instead of “pouring scorn” on it.

“The figure was an estimate which we deemed achievable at the seminar and it can be done if everyone in the music industry works seriously towards it,” said Rahman.

“I strongly feel that Fernandez is a credible figure in the industry and he should be more supportive of efforts to make it grow.”

Rahman said the MMM had since 2002 frequently held discussions with the Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry to find ways to resolve problems and challenges facing the music industry.

“We have held about six workshops or courses with the ministry specially for Malaysian artistes between 2004 and 2007 and they were attended by more than 200 artistes,” he said.


New Straits Times

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