Puspal guidelines will be improved if necessary - Fahmi

16/03/2023 08:10 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, March 16 (Bernama) — The existing guidelines from the Central Agency for Application of Filming and Performance by Foreign Artistes (PUSPAL) are still applicable but will be upgraded when suitable to facilitate the work of industry players, said Fahmi Fadzil.

The Communications and Digital Minister said this was because this sector was seen as having the potential to boost the country’s economy through the staging of various events, including concerts by foreign artistes in Malaysia.

“Each time there is a concert or an event, it is an attraction for Malaysians or people from neighbouring countries to attend, giving a multiplier effect to the economy as attendees will use transport, buy food or go shopping.

“We have studied and the existing guidelines are applicable. If issues arise, we will take note and if necessary will make amendments or improvements to the guidelines then,” he told reporters after attending a PUSPAL with industry and Townhall session here today.

Also present were Deputy Communications and Digital Minister Teo Nie Ching and Communications and Digital Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Mohammad Mentek, who is Puspal Committee chairman.

On the session, Fahmi said they received positive feedback after listening to the issues faced by stakeholders in the arts and culture sector, especially organisers of concerts and events.

“The new guidelines were approved on Nov 16 last year before the new administration took office, and they (industry players) are generally positive although they requested that the (PUSPAL) application approval process be speeded up,” he added.

He has asked PUSPAL to immediately reply to the questions raised by industry players at today’s session.

Fahami said issues on tax, permit and high rental costs faced by concert organisers were actually outside PUSPAL’s jurisdiction, and he would raise them with the relevant ministries for consideration.

The upgraded PUSPAL guidelines published on its website, among others, specify the dates on which big-scale concerts by foreign artistes are not allowed to be staged.

Under the new guidelines, the blackout dates are in conjunction with National Day celebration on Aug 30 and 31 and Malaysia Day on Sept 15 and 16, compared with the whole of Merdeka month from Aug 25 to Sept 16 under the previous guidelines.

To help organisers make early preparations, the guidelines also list out key dates on which concerts are not to be held, as a mark of respect for Islamic religious events and other festivals in the country.