After two years of planning and preparation, Malaysia Association Of Digital Creative Industry or Pertubuhan Industri Kreatif Digital Malaysia (PIKDM) has finally been launched. Its first and foremost aim is to help talents in the creative industry to know their basic rights.
Apart from creating new job opportunities, PIKDM also hopes to put in the groundwork to educate future generations coming into the field so there is a higher standard and global acceptance of their work.
Mohammed Dean Abdullah, president of PIKDM, said: “We have learnt that there is no one body or an Act in Malaysian law that protects people in the creative industry. A freelancer especially has nowhere to turn if their rights are violated.
PIKDM can be their representative; PIKDM can be a way for people in the industry to be heard when there is a problem.”
Those who fall into the digital creative industry purview are producers, directors, animators, filmmakers, film crew, audio crew, visual effects artists, graphic designers, sound engineers, writers and composers, to name a few.
“It’s anyone and everyone involved in the creative process,” said Dean. “We have 20,000 people joining this industry every year, graduates from institutions like Akademi Seni Budaya Dan Warisan Kebangsaan (Aswara) and Limkokwing University of Creative Technology. Where do they go? It is important for them to know what opportunities await them and how to explore them.
“We also want to take care of the people already working in the industry,” added Dean. “This industry has great potential if nurtured well and developed right.”
Datuk Kamil Othman, an advisor with Communication And Multimedia Ministry for creative industries, who was present at the launch said: “We applaud the formation of PIKDM. From the time I was with MDEC (Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation), we recognised digital as an important industry.
“To unite all (the different groups) into one association means we are working together in unity to improve the growth of the industry.”
At the launch, representatives from the performing arts, music industry and digital advertisement raised questions on how PIKDM would address their many problems.
Dean and PIKDM members of directors (comprising of lawyers, producers, filmmakers, etc) are looking into creating a weekly public forum where people from the creative industry can have a platform to not only introduce new ideas, but also discuss issues and find solutions.
One of PIKDM’s aims is to assist the people in the creative industry in terms of contracts, insurance, incentives and digital monetisation.
“One of the things we want to make clear to people in the creative industry is that quality is important, not quantity. Creativity is subjective but when you accept lesser payment for what your work is worth, then it is you who are killing the industry.
“More than 80% of our industry is made up of freelancers who take on a project on verbal contract. So, when they don’t get paid or are paid less than what a work is worth, no one can take action. We want to change that.”
Film producer Khoo Kay Lye expanded: “We need to start with the students themselves, educating them now on how to approach a project with their rights intact. At the moment, we are not doing that. Once we establish this, we can do things right.”
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