The Malaysia Madani 2024 Budget is seen as a serious step forward to bolster the creative industry with RM160 million allocation announced yesterday. Altimet, the renowned composer and rapper known as Syed Ahmad Syed Abdul Rahman Alhadad, emphasized that the rapid growth of the creative industry could be a significant contributor to the nation’s economic growth.
Typically, in developing countries, the creative industry contributes around six to ten percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), yet in Malaysia, it hovers at approximately two percent. Altimet stressed the need for the industry to raise its contribution to at least six percent of the GDP, necessitating continuous and heightened efforts.
During the presentation of the Budget 2024 in Parliament, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim unveiled an allocation of RM160 million to bolster the creative industry. This financial injection includes RM60 million for the Digital Content Fund, aimed at promoting local arts and supporting content with national significance. Additionally, RM90 million has been earmarked for the ‘Film in Malaysia Incentive’ program, encouraging the production of world-class films. Another RM10 million will establish the MyCreative Matching Fund Scheme, designed to assist young artists in their creative project development.
Altimet, who also serves as the State Assemblyman for Lembah Jaya, applauded the exemption of entertainment duty for local artists’ stage performances, reducing the entertainment duty to five percent. He deemed this a positive step to revitalize the creative industry.
Furthermore, there has been a reduction to 10 percent of entertainment duty for stage performances by international artists and other entertainment events, such as movie screenings, sports events, and games. Altimet considered this a welcome boost and pointed out that various states may offer different incentives. For Kuala Lumpur, which previously had a 25 percent entertainment tax, the Prime Minister’s announcement is expected to further foster the local creative industry.
The Persatuan Perfileman Malaysia (Gafema), a coalition of seven associations involved in the local film industry, expressed gratitude to the government for its support in fostering the creative industry. Gafema president Pansha welcomed the RM90 million allocation, believing it would encourage local film producers to create internationally acclaimed films.
The Prime Minister, in his budget presentation, proposed a special income tax incentive ranging from zero to ten percent for film production companies, foreign actors, and filming crews working on projects in Malaysia. This move aims to attract foreign film productions to Malaysia, a destination already chosen by some international film producers, and is likely to encourage others to follow suit.
MyCreative Ventures (MyCreative) welcomed the Budget 2024 as a positive step in supporting the creative industry, a long-awaited move sought by creative industry players. Amirul Haswendy Ashari, the chairman of Redholah Arts and Culture, expressed hope for emerging theater artists to receive more opportunities to showcase their creativity.
KRU Group’s President and CEO, Datuk Norman Abdul Halim, lauded the incentives provided in the Budget 2024, considering them pragmatic and forward-thinking. He believed that these measures would strengthen the creative industry and attract private sector investments. In a Facebook post, Norman anticipated that the reduction in taxes for international artists and the exemption of duties for local artists would lead to more organized concerts, thus creating job opportunities. – BERNAMA