FINAS CEO, Ahmad Idham Under Fire For Neglecting The Film Industry & Mocking His Peers On Instagram

Instagram: @pendidikan.mural / @danialyap

Despite the fact that we have been soldiering through the pandemic for close to a year now, SOPs for our film industry have yet to be discussed and finalised.

Due to this, shooting has been put to a halt which means those working in the film industry have had to resort to other forms of work in order to put food on the table.

It is a sorrowful to see legends in our film industry such as Fauziah Nawi, Adibah Noor, Sharifah Amani and Amerul Affendi plead for change on social media because they have been deprived of not only their main source of income but their passion and driving force.

Take a look at their posts:


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A post shared by Fauziah Nawi (@fauziahnawi)



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A post shared by Sharifah Amani (@sharifah_amani)



The culprit behind the collective laments of all film industry players is FINAS and the figure that controls this government body is none other than CEO, Ahmad Idham.

A man who does not need an introduction – because JUICE has covered all of his shortcomings time and time again that we feel it would be repetitive to continue doing so – Ahmad Idham is at the forefront of this conversation regarding FINAS and its neglect towards those it should be protecting.

Setelah hampir setahun kita hidup dalam pandemik, dan kali kedua PKP, pekerja industri kreatif & belakang tabir masih…

Posted by Muz Amer on Thursday, February 4, 2021

While the community was writing think pieces, essays and conducting debates over the current climate in the film industry, this man was on Instagram posting sly digs at his colleagues and at the people who look up to him for guidance and assistance during this difficult time.

Ahmad Idham’s own Instagram account

Instead of reviewing and submitting the dozens of appeals for SOPs for the film industry to continue operating, Ahmad Idham was busy writing a script for a movie that JUICE will probably trash when it comes out. Perhaps he should use that pen he has in his hand to sign off on SOPs, not write Badut Dari London… whatever that is.

In order to fully understand just how badly Ahmad Idham has screwed the role of the supposed umbrella and authoritative figure for our local film industry, let’s look at this through several different perspectives.

Rabbani Sujak et al.,

Instagram @rabbanisujak

Renowned and respected in the industry, Rabbani Sujak is the man behind our favourite local music videos. He’s worked with Yuna, Ramayan and Pastel Lite, just to name a few. Not only is he daring in his craft but he is also brave in defending it.

In an open letter to FINAS, Rabbani detailed his plights as well as the plights of his peers when MCO struck and filming came to a halt. Months have passed since then yet there are no SOPs in place despite there being many submissions.

When Ismail Sabri announced that night markets will continue as per usual, it further twisted the knife that was already plunged into the industry, bleeding it dry.

Many of his peers shared the post and it has since garnered over 1k likes on his Instagram page, but he did not stop there.


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A post shared by Rabbani Sujak (@rabbanisujak)

In an interview with The Vocket, he mentioned the struggles of film crew. Working behind the camera comes with a price. When you’re out of sight, you’re out of mind and many people tend to forget that the film crew are usually the ones hit the hardest when trying times strike.

Being freelancers, when there are no jobs, there is no pay hence no food on the table for that day. For most of them, they don’t even own an EPF account, which means i-Sinar isn’t even an option for them.

According to Rabbani, 11 months have passed and all the film industry workers got from FINAS was a measly 2-page document of not more than 400 words of them admitting that they have done their job despite (Majlis Keselamatan Negara) MKN’s insistence that they re-do the SOPs with stricter regulations.

The rising anger and frustrations have boiled down to a petition initiated by Art Revolt, which currently has 3,359 signatures at the time of writing. That’s 1,641 signatures shy of their 5,000 benchmark. The petition introduction reads,

“In the pandemic situation plaguing Malaysia today, we, the Malaysian creative and film industry players, feel marginalized by the Chairman and CEO of Finas who should be thinking of ways to help us to continue working in helping our economy as well as the country.

We feel more depressed when the Chairman and CEO of FINAS made statements indicating that we are not contributing to the country’s economy on their social media posts which only displayed their shallow thoughts that they do not deserve to hold important positions.”

Hans Isaac and Mat London

Image result for hans isaac finas

Despite once being in the same playing room as Ahmad Idham, the former chairman of FINAS, Hans Isaac, released a statement that stands in solidarity with the wronged industry players. He said,

“Other countries have practical standard operating procedures/guidelines. How hard is it to follow their best practices and adopt SOPs for your own industry in Malaysia? The SOPs should have been done months ago. We should not have waited till the industry starts taking action and voicing out. In my opinion, Finas regrettably has failed us.”

Another figure who is against Ahmad Idham’s leadership, who is also calling for his resignation, is the alleged ‘Badut Dari London’ that Idham alluded to in his Instagram story posts.

Image result for ahmad ibrahim mat london

While the Film Directors’ Association of Malaysia (FDAM) president’s real name is Ahmad Ibrahim, he is better known to his peers as Mat London. After being called out and insulted by Ahmad Idham in public through an Instagram post, the FDAM president released a statement to The Vibes, expressing his disappointment towards the FINAS CEO.

“He (Idham) has disappointed his friends in the industry and has forgotten who he is after taking on the role of CEO,” Ibrahim said.

He continued by saying, “The management of Finas for the past eight months (under Idham) has not developed the industry and has veered from the concept of Finas. We have not seen anything new as the current funding has been around for the past 15 to 20 years, but under a new name.

“Finas now believes the associations do not bring any benefit; all decisions are made by the board of directors, which has caused unease among associations. We need to change the management to something that is more inspired.”



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A post shared by FINAS Malaysia (@finasmalaysia)

After almost a full year, FINAS is finally discussing the SOPs at a meeting with MKN today (8 February). The new SOPs are said to be stricter and more adherent to regulations as compared to the previous ones that were submitted.

It’s dubious how it took them months to finalise the SOPs but after an onslaught of protests and petitions, all of a sudden they have the final product in hand, ready to be discussed.

Nonetheless, the industry is hopeful that this would be it and they can finally start working and putting food on the table again.

As for Ahmad Idham… How many times must we hold this man accountable for things that he does not even feel guilty about?

Currently, he is on his Twitter, retweeting posts about netizens having a crush on him during his archaic Spanar Jaya era (see pic above on right) instead of penning an apology or at least an explanation as to what has been going on in FINAS from where he’s sitting.

From the looks of it, he’s still sitting on that high horse and someone needs to knock him down. If not for the betterment of our homegrown talents, it would be for the progress of our film industry overall.

Keep vocalising your thoughts and criticisms. He’s stepped down before, maybe he’ll do it again.