Najib not doing what he promised the artistes

KKMM and his officers do not listen to his speeches. Najib promised to extend the Dana Industri Kreatif Negara (DIKN) by pumping funds into it, but after the elections, the DIKN was scrapped


During the last general elections or PRU-13, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak called a group of artistes to the official residence of the Prime Minister, Sri Perdana, where he said that the then Kementerian Penerangan, Komunikasi dan Kebudayaan (KPKK) had a fund totalling RM112 million for the ministry to offer to deserving artists in grants or loans to realize their artistic quests.

And KPKK had organized many pitching sessions by inviting artistes from all branches of the arts whose proposal had been shortlisted.

And Najib had the audacity to inform the group of artistes at his official residence, should KPKK run short of funding, the government would pump in more, if necessary.

Unfortunately, this did not happen.

The Budget 2014 which he presented to parliament on 25 October did not mention this.

Worse, KPKK now known as Kementerian Komunikasi dan Multimedia (KKMM) has totally scrapped the DIKN, when its predecessor the KPKK had launched the scheme by spending a lot of money to announce the introduction of such a scheme.

One would certainly find it odd or strange for KPKK or any ministry to organize a media event which costs a lot of money where they brought in some officers from the ministry and other departments to explain the DIKN.Yet, barely a few months later, DIKN is scrapped, and there has not been any official announcement on this.

So those who were invited to attend the pitching session were left with letters saying that their proposals could not be approved as KPKK does not have the funds now.

Najib must have known that many people in the film and entertainment industry have personal and independent views on the goings-on in the country, so he had taken the initiative to invite them to Sri Perdana for a pep-talk and also to get their support during the general elections, which the artistes would later give to him, for without which Umno and Barisan Nasional would suffer even worse results.

Everybody in the entertainment industry is baffled as to how Najib could be so crass as to not remember what he had promised to the artistes, and how the officers in the ministry concerned had also not bothered to highlight this matter when the budget committee at the ministry of finance were working on the details of the budget.

The truth is, the officers in the budget committee did not even listen to what Najib says, so they went on their own to devise a budget to include items which are obviously dramatic in nature, which can draw the most attention from the media.

Of course KKMM and the officers at the prime minister’s department do not ask what KPKK had done with the scores of millions of ringgit that they had given as loans and grants for artists to create their works and also films as none of them had ever created waves thrusting the artists onto the world stage.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) too does not seem to care. In fact, even SPRM does not seem to care even if there might be elements of corrupt practices in the offering of the loans and grants to many who do not seem to be qualified or who had underperformed.

And not surprisingly, the arts association has not bothered to inquire about this with Najib or to express their displeasure in the media or other public forums.