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How to make Malaysia great again

In MARKETING’s end February issue, our editor, the Turbanned Stranger spoke to Malaysian Association of Advertising Filmmakers (PPFIM) President Khoo Kay Lye (KL Khoo) on the seriousness of Malaysia’s brain drain in the film production industry.

There was a time when Malaysia was the regional centre of production excellence for television commercials. We had a national policy called Made in Malaysia (MiM) which required all productions to be made locally. This resulted in the rapid growth of the film production industry and many advertising professionals became experts in the art of filmmaking.

However, these professionals now find work in neighbouring countries, as there is not enough work in Malaysia. KL Khoo has been fighting a losing battle for the continuation of the MiM policy. His latest quest is to revive the professional production contracts with agencies. In 2015, PPFIM and Finas made it mandatory for advertising film production companies to become members of the association in order to apply for the MiM certificate. PPFIM then implemented a production agreement which was supported by the Association of Accredited Advertising Agents (4As).

“More than 100 advertising film professionals now work outside Malaysia – mainly in China, Jakarta, Vietnam and Thailand,” says KL Khoo. “Their livelihoods in Malaysia have deteriorated because of digital short-form videos, while some television stations even do the TVCs for free in exchange for media buys.”

“There are many of our freelance Film Directors and Directors of Photography (DOPs) in Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, China and also quite a few in post-production roles in Bangkok.”

Is this yet another manifestation of our creative brain drain? MARKETING published an article recently naming more than 60 Malaysian creative professionals who have migrated for greener pastures overseas and highlighted how well they were doing.

Interested to read more about what KL Khoo has to say? Click here!


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