Wednesday, April 11, 2007

This Information Ministry Explanation Doesn't Make Sense.

The following is a report in the NST regarding why foreign dramas on TV are more popular than local ones.

Foreign telenovelas such as the recently concluded Indonesian drama “Bawang Putih, Bawang Merah” are more popular than local ones because they based their theme on the supernatural, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Information Ministry Parliamentary Secretary Noriah Kasnon said as an official media, Radio Televesion Malaysia (RTM) did not resort to airing such telenovelas because it had a social responsibility of developing the people’s mindset and nurturing good values.

“RTM is more inclined to show dramas that educate the public, instill a positive spirit and high moral values to motivate society to do better,” she said when responding to a question from Datuk Ismail Abdul Mutalib (BN-Maran) who wanted to know why foreign soap operas were more popular than local ones.

The 108-episode “Bawang Putih, Bawang Merah” is an adaptation of a folklore in the present day revolving around two teenage girls where evil at first overcomes good until a fairy godmother intervenes.

***** Pardon me if I sound a little silly. If the Information Ministry as it claims, has a "
social responsibility of developing the people’s mindset and nurturing good values" by discouraging local dramas with a supernatural theme, then why the devil (pun intended) is it allowing foreign 'telenovelas' of the very same genre to be telecast here? Does the ministry honestly feel that just because the Indons produce a drama that highlights the supernatural or glorifies a toyol and it is shown on channels other than RTM then it is OK? That only our own productions have an effect on our simple-minded people who watch these shows?

Apart from the high sounding 'educate, instill and motivate' hype by RTM, the main reason why the foreign shows are popular is because they are at least a little interesting while in comparison our mostly low quality dramas are simply too boring, repetitive, devoid of ideas, have not really changed or improved in the last four decades and the acting leaves much to be desired. Sorry, but that's the way I see it.

The monopoly enjoyed by certain production houses also adds to the less than impressive standard of the local dramas. Some time ago the Information Minister said that he would end the monopoly but whether he has succeeded or not I don't know. Another drawback is of course that national malady of ours, race politics. And the less said about that the better.

Image - Source

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Blogger Billy said...

Let me ask one question: Why is it that Hong Kong TV dramas (especially those by TVB) seem to be more popular, not only among the Chinese, but surprisingly, among the Malays too. I know because one of my clerks used to rush off at 5.15 pm sharp in order to catch the continuation of drama at 6.00 pm. The answer: CREATIVITY. The producers, directors and script writers are allowed the freedom to explore new horizons to make the show demanding. Every new series will see not only one plot but many sub-plots to hold the audience captivated, and these plots normally will come together in the last episode whether it is a happy or sad ending. Hong Kong producers and actors already have a goal way back in the late 60s, and that is to penetrate the American market, via Hollywood (come what may) and that means films must be of the highest standard. Then you have Bruce Lee paving the way followed by many others. Today the dream is realised with stars like Chow Yuen Fatt, Sammo Hung, Jackie Chan and Ang Lee (Taiwanese) hitting the big time in Hollywood. Another question: Why is it necessary for Michelle Yeoh to use Hong Kong as a spring board to enter Hollywood? Because Malaysia does not offer the kind of hopes for aspiring artistes like her. So now the big question : where is our vision? If the Hongkies can do it, why couldn't we? After all, both of us are also Asians. What is it that they have, we don't? What is the missing 'X' factor here? If the Malays find the Hongkie TV series interesting, then what is wrong with our own TV production?

8:42 PM GMT+8  
Blogger The Malaysian. said...

Touché Billy.

8:52 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Billy, the 'X' factor that makes HK tv series so captivating is the absense of govt interference which set stupifying conditions that we all are aware of

10:21 PM GMT+8  
Blogger anthraxxxx said...

The 6pm TVB drama is no longer shown on TV3 and the slot was replaced by a "local" series. I wonder why. I think I should start subscribing astro next month.

3:27 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have written off this "Impotent Ministry" for a long time. If not for Astro, I would have throw my TV out a long time ago. There is nothing worthy to watch. This Ministry should be abolished to save tax-payers' money.

9:14 AM GMT+8  
Anonymous smallVoice said...

May I ask what 'Good Valus' have RTM instilled so far?

Why more and more corruption cases reported? Why minority is always the loser? Why the rakyat has no freedom in their choice of religion? Why the majority is allowed to threaten the minority without having to face the music? Why, why, why,......?

I don't see there is any improvement after 50 years of Merdeka, in fact, it is getting worse.

I used to have good fellowship with all the races in my kampong when I was a kid in the 60s. Now, know lah...Good Values? Booooshit!!

7:47 PM GMT+8  

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