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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