Embrace digital technology

Saifuddin (bottom left) speaks during the virtual signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding between Finas and SMG.

KUCHING: The creative industry must embrace the digital technology and apply new approaches with regard to the production of works and materials with the advent of social media.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said social media had overtaken the conventional media as the mainstream media.

“It (social media) has taken over because of the advent of technology. Today, what is really the mainstream media is social media,” he said.

He was speaking during a virtual signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas) and Sarawak Media Group (SMG) via Zoom on Thursday (Aug 5).

“In fact, some people have predicted that in the next 10 years, the television that we know now will no longer exist. Its form or operation will be different from how it is now,” he said, adding that the world of film also faced many challenges.

As such, he said creative industry players must be prepared with the relevant technology to allow them not only to survive in modern times but to make a name for themselves on the international stage.

Saifuddin concurred with Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Corporate Affairs and Sarawak Public Communications Unit) Abdullah Saidol who viewed creative industry players no longer presented productions solely through platforms such as television and radio, pointing out that they would now face competition in digital media through various internet applications such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.

“We have started seeing internet celebrities such as YouTubers, influencers, TikTok artists, Instagram celebrities, and so on,” he said.

He emphasised that creative industry players must understand the attitudes and tastes of this new generation of audience.

“I believe that the creative industry will not die. Instead, it will continue to live on because the stage on which they present their works is made up of various platforms in this digital age.” 

Saifuddin assured that the government would continue to try and support artists in various ways including in terms of funding.