Film festival went on as planned, says Finas

As published in Malay Mail today

By Lavinia Louis

KUALA LUMPUR — The National Film Development Corporation (Finas) denied there was any form of “interference from a VIP” during the 27th Malaysian Film Festival held last Saturday.
Its director-general Datuk Kamil Othman instead said the programme went on as per the original plan. Finas was the organiser of the awards event.

Kamil said he had, after going through the line-up of performances on Friday night, wanted Najwa Mahiaddin to perform second-last, followed by Amy Search to show the film industry had evolved to a brighter future. 

“It was a last-minute decision because I only got to see the sequence of performances on the eve. Then I saw the full-dress rehearsal and I thought Najwa’s performance had a gothic feel, so I wanted her performance to be second-last followed by Amy Search ... where the film industry is moving from darkness to a brighter side,” he said.

“However, I was informed by the producer on Saturday night that if changes were made, it would be disastrous as the performances had all been lined up. So, I told them to just follow the original plan where Najwa will perform as the closing act.”

Kamil was non-committal over Najwa’s comment where she had thanked Finas for “finally allowing” her to perform. She had tweeted it right after the show.

“I don’t know why she said that. It’s best you ask her.”

He also denied there was a post-morterm meeting held on Monday.

Malay Mail, had on Monday, reported that industry insiders claimed a prominent individual had instructed the organiser to not allow Najwa to perform. Observers believed it could have been a political move as her father, former deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, was dropped from the Cabinet in July.

Najwa was supposed to sing in the second segment of the show that was aired live on Astro. Host Nabil Ahmad was about to introduce her onstage when he suddenly called for a commercial break. 
A tense situation ensued backstage between Najwa’s representatives and the organiser, revealed insiders. 

Najwa appeared as the final act, mesmerising the audience with her rendition of the classic hit Seri Mersing.

Kamil said there was no reason to give Najwa a proper explanation over the matter as “everything went on as planned”.

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