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Kapit, Malaysia: Malaysian Government Launches the Layar Bestari (Outdoor Movies) Program in Kapit

Outdoor Movies in Kapit, MalaysiaHeavy rains could not stop the people thronging the launch of the `Wayang Pacak` or free film show under Layar Bestari Programme of the State Information Department at Kapit Town Square on Monday evening.

People from all walks of lives began to assemble at Kapit Town Square soon after the nightfall for a strategic position to view the Malaysian-produced Malay romantic film, `I`m Not Single` starring Farid Kamil and Lisa Surihani.

The 5,000 capacity crowd had packed the Town Square like sardines although the free movie only began at 8.30pm.

The overwhelming response touched Minister of Information Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek who launched the event at Kapit Town Square. He said it was the biggest crowd he had seen so far.

The cheering fans could have been drawn by the presence of actor Farid and movie director David Teo who went on stage to say `Hello`.

Heads of government department and senior officers also attended the function for a chance to meet Ahmad Shabery.

Ahmad Shabery, who spoke briefly in Iban and Bahasa Malaysia, said he was happy to visit Kapit.

The films shown are documentary films of the 1970s and 1980s. The highlight of the evening was the locally-produced film `I`m not single`.

The Information Ministry had said on April 10 that it would be reviving the screening of free film shows this year.

Ahmad Shabery said the show popular in the 1970s and 1980s, was affective in entertaining and imparting information to rural and sub-urban folk.

“Layar Bestari is not something new-in the olden days it was known as Wayang Pacak. The Information Department revived it as a means of communication in rural and sub-urban areas, to instill close family links and as a tool to disseminate government news.

“Layar Bestari is to become a national programme to feature local films and build close rapport between the Information Department and the rakyat. The department serves as the bridge between the government and the people,” he added.

“I hope this programme, aided by modern equipment, will attract the audience. It is cost-effective and the message is education,” he stressed.

He said apart from screening movies that had elements of local politics and patriotism, the free shows would also feature development enjoyed by the people over the years.

His ministry treats the film show as a tool for rural villagers to obtain valuable information on government policies.

Ahmad Shabery explained that the free film show had been discontinued in the past as it could not compete with the increasing popularity of VCD, television and newspapers.

He believed the free film shows could still be popular and his ministry would have to find innovative ways to attract people.

He said the free film shows should be relevant in today`s society.

Among those in his entourage were Datuk Abdullah Morad, Datuk Kamaruddin Siaraf, Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister`s Department (Economic Planning) Larry Sng, Kapit MP Alexander Nanta Linggi, Hulu Rajang MP Datuk Billy Abit Joo, Belaga assemblyman Liwan Lagang, political secretary to the Chief Minister, Daniel Jubang Kanyan, Walikota Kapit District Council Philimon Nuing, Sarawak Information Department director Resat Salleh, Sarawak Special Affairs Department (Jasa) director Jemat Lihi, Filem Negara director Ghazali Yaman and Kapit District Officer Simon Japut Tiok.

Source: The Borneo Post (31/10/2008)

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Wayang Pacak (Outdoor Movies) Program Delayed in Malaysia

Wayang Pacak Outdoor Movies in MalaysiaKementerian Penerangan tetap akan meneruskan cadangan untuk memperkenalkan semula wayang pacak di Sarawak walaupun ia lewat dilaksanakan mengikut jadual asal.

Menteri Penerangan Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek berkata mengikut jadual asal ia sepatutnya dilaksanakan pada Jun tahun ini namun kerana masalah yang tidak dapat dielakkan ia ditangguh ke masa lain.

“Kita cadang lepas Raya ni, pada bulan November akan buat wayang pacak di Kapit,” katanya kepada pemberita selepas majlis berbuka puasa bersama anak-anak yatim di Lembaga Kebajikan Anak-anak Yatim Sarawak (PERYATIM) anjuran Timbalan Menteri Sains, Teknologi dan Inovasi Fadillah Yusof di sini hari ini.

Ahmad Shabery berkata perancangan untuk mengadakan wayang pacak itu pada bulan Jun tidak dapat dilakukan berikutan sambutan Gawai Dayak turut diraikan pada bulan yang sama dan telah ditangguhkan.

Beliau berkata kesukaran untuk memilih bulan-bulan lain juga dihadapi memandangkan persidangan Parlimen masih berjalan ketika itu, diikuti dengan bulan Ramadan serta sambutan Hari Raya bulan depan menyukarkan lagi untuk memilih masa yang lebih sesuai.

Beliau bagaimanapun menyatakan keyakinan Jabatan Penerangan Sarawak telah melakukan persediaan yang secukupnya bagi menjayakan wayang pacak ini.

Mengulas mengenai kenyataan Menteri Besar Negeri Sembilan Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan dalam Utusan Malaysia pada Khamis lepas mempersoalkan tindakan Ketua Pembangkang yang juga Penasihat Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim yang gemar membuat kenyataan mengenai penubuhan kerajaan baru kepada media asing, Ahmad Shabery berkata ini kerana media tempatan dan rakyat di negara ini sudah muak mendengar pembohongan Anwar.

“Sebenarnya dia ada panggil media tempatan tapi apabila makin mengenali beliau ramai sudah bosan dengan telatah dan gelagatnya,” katanya sambil menambah antara pembohongan yang pernah dilakukan oleh Anwar ialah cubaan membunuhnya dan penubuhan kerajaan pada 16 Sept yang ternyata tidak berlaku.

Sementara itu, beliau berkata tindakan Majlis Tertinggi Umno menunda Perhimpunan Agung Umno, yang dijadual Disember ini, ke Mac tahun depan perlu dihormati oleh semua ahli Umno.

Beliau berkata tindakan menunda tarikh tersebut mencerminkan bahawa Umno mempunyai mekanisme tersendiri dalam mencari jalan penyelesaian dan memperkuatkan kedudukan parti.

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Malaysia Government Sponsors Outdoor Movies in Rural Villages

Malaysia Outdoor MoviesThe Information Ministry said it would re-introduce the ‘wayang pacak’ (free film shows) next month.

The Information Department-sponsored free film shows, popular in the 1970s and early 1980s, were effective in imparting information and entertainment among rural and sub-urban folk, said its minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek.

It’s a well known fact that ‘wayang pacak’ was in the olden days an avenue for the people to interact and catch up with each other.

Ahmad said apart from screening interesting movies, including cartoons, the free film shows would also show footage on developments, which the people had enjoyed over the years.

“The ministry treats the free film shows as an effective tool for the rural villagers to obtain valuable information on government policies,” he told a press conference after attending a dialogue session with officials and staff of his Ministry at the RTM Auditorium in Jalan P Ramlee here yesterday.

Ahmad said the programme was scrapped in the mid 80s because it could not compete with the increasing popularity of television and newspapers.

Believing that free film shows could be made popular again, Ahmad said the ministry would have to find innovative ways to attract people to watch them.

He said the shows could still be relevant in today’s society.

On another matter, Ahmad said the aim of showing ‘live’ parliamentary sessions on television for 30 minutes each time, was to ensure that people would be well informed on the latest debates or progress on the bills and laws.

“We will not show the whole sitting but only the relevant debates,” he said.

He said that based on his first tour of duty to Sarawak, he noticed the state government’s commitment in strengthening ties with the federal government.

He was also impressed with the state’s commitment in wanting to see the New Economic Policy be continued in an effort to eradicate hardcore poverty as well as to promote harmony and stability among the people.

Second Minister of Planning and Resource Management Dato Sri Awang Tengah Ali Hassan who is also minister in-charge of information in the state, Ministry of Information secretary-general Datuk Kamaruddin Siaraf, Bernama general manager Datuk Azman Ujang and state Information director Resat Salleh, political secretary Dr Junaidy Abdul Wahab and senior private secretary to the Information Ministry Idris Mahmood were also present at the press conference.

Earlier on, Ahmad paid courtesy calls on the Head of State Tun Datuk Patinggi Abang Muhammad Salahuddin and also on Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Ahmad is the former parliamentary secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs prior to his appointment as Information Minister after the just concluded 12th General Election.

He was in town yesterday for his first working visit to Sarawak.

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Brantford, Ontario: Outdoor Movies Help Revive Downtown Brantford

Outdoor Movies Help Revive Downtown Brantford, OntarioWandering downtown on Thursday night you can get a sense that there is something different about Brantford. After years of acrimonious debates, and sometimes sheer nastiness, the downtown has a completely different feel.

Harmony Square has become a focus for civic activity that has exceeded the wildest predictions of the downtown supporters and has given the lie to the short-sighted naysayers and purveyors of doom and gloom who predicted that the square would be an expensive white elephant in a decaying core.

By my estimate, more than 700 people came downtown to watch a movie in the square. Young and old came to the square to watch jugglers and acrobats do their stuff as the giant inflatable movie screen was readied for movie night. As darkness settled on the square, the numbers only seemed to increase.

It was interesting that these were exactly the kind of people the city wanted to attract to the core. Young families with children, grandparents and even teens found reason for peaceful assembly in the square. These were the kind of people who would not be caught dead in Brantford’s downtown only a few short years ago before the downtown’s renaissance as a people place.

As I watched the people enjoying the movie, I recalled the acrimonious debates that the “civic square” generated around the council table.

“It will cost too much,” decried several councillors. “Nobody wants to come to a decaying downtown,” railed still others.

“The design is wrong” and “Where did the extra fountain come from?” were all comments that rattled around council chambers for years while the public fumed at council’s seeming inability to act in the public interest.

A lot of public money has been spent on the downtown. A lot more private investment has gone into the downtown as well. That private investment would never have happened if the city had not made it possible by putting our money where their mouths were. It seemed to me that the public was far ahead of council with demands that something be done about the downtown’s deteriorated state.

Yes, it was expensive, but it took a long time to get into the state that it was in and it was going to take a lot of money and time to get it back into shape. The nascent university district was the catalyst to bring people downtown. This made it economically viable, with some help from the city, to attract private investment to the core.

The downtown now has a heart to the city core that will be an asset for the next 100 years. Just looking at the happy faces that came to enjoy the programming in Harmony Square was testament to the value of what has been accomplished.

The sad part is that this almost did not occur. The arguing around the council table was often nasty and the project came very close to not happening. There were several decisions made by council that were won by a single vote.

All of this goes to the heart of what it means to be a councillor. All too often we see councillors mired in the minutiae of day-to-day government. What is often lost in all of that is a concern for the future. Where is the collective vision of council for the future? I am not talking about financial plans or specific projects but of a more comprehensive vision for the future.

The creation of Harmony Square required vision starting with former mayor Chris Friel’s early support of the idea of a square through current Mayor Mike Hancock’s deft handling of the project through the political reefs and shoals. A bare majority on council supported this project but it could have gone the other way as easily as not.

We need councils with vision. Perhaps the current crop can take a walk down to Harmony Square some Thursday night and see just what they have wrought despite the bickering and shortsightedness of the past three councils. I believe that they have built something that future generations will regard as one of the best features of Brantford’s downtown. Let’s hope those generations don’t realize just how close it came to not happening at all.

The current council can learn a lot of lessons from this project as they tackle future civic needs such as the South side of Colborne Street, brownfields, and other community needs. Let’s hope that a sense of the future and generations to come will guide their deliberations.

Tim Philp is a political observer who lives in Brantford. E-mail him at [email protected]

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