Communications ministry to study drafting Music Act

KUALA LUMPUR: The Ministry of Communications is looking into enacting a Music Act to ensure that the field of art has its own act, to safeguard the welfare of musicians.

Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil said since singers made up most of the content providers in broadcasting involving the medium of radio and television, there is a need to examine the relevant act to ensure the sustainability of the industry.

“I see that there are some basic things that need to be strengthened, firstly the literacy aspect which is the understanding of the law because many new artists when they sign a contract many do not understand what the contract means.

“When I talk to singer Kaka Azraf, for example, the effect of him being removed from the label is quite big, including the songs he has sung and the effect is also on royalties and so on.

“So I see if we have the act itself for music, at least this aspect can be highlighted and can be more sustainable,“ he told reporters after visiting veteran singer Zaiton Sameon at the Finas 2024 MADANI Art Visit Programme in Ampang today.

Earlier Fahmi also visited actor and director Salehudin Ridzwan or better known as Din Glamor at his residence in Bukit Antarabangsa under the same programme.

Fahmi said the ministry had started an engagement session with MyCreative Ventures as the lead agency to get suggestions on the drafting of the act, besides a programme committee had also been formed to speed up the study process.

“Previously I have received a number of suggestions but these suggestions may be improved with the involvement of the industry, and academicians at various levels to make the ministry understand the aspects that need to be in the act later,“ he said.

Commenting on the distribution of royalties to musicians, Fahmi said his ministry had held a series of meetings with stakeholders and one of the measures taken was to ensure that every ministry that benefits from local works made royalty payments to the musicians involved.

“On the part of the ministry, we collected the amount to be paid to all involved from all our television and radio channels last year.

“But I have also conveyed to other ministries if they use local artists, songs, their works in any campaign and for certain events, celebrations of certain days, then they have to make the payment and we will coordinate, then the amount will be bigger, ” he said.

In the meantime, when asked about the actions of UMNO Youth chief Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh who is still playing up the issue of socks with the word ‘Allah’ on them, Fahmi said the order of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Ibrahim is clear and all parties need to stop the polemic.

“For those who are Muslim and Malay, the Agong’s position is very high level, at the top, for me to disobey the order and deliberately interpret (His Majesty’s order) in another way is not appropriate for me,“ he said.

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