Dated: 24 July 2008
Malay Programmes Advisory Committee also praises quality local dramas
The Malay Programmes Advisory Committee (MPAC) urged broadcasters to ensure proper usage of the Malay language in programmes and stressed the need for more quality educational children’s shows. MPAC, which today released its biennial report for the period August 2006 to July 2008, also commended quality local dramas such as Tetangga 2 (Neighbours 2) and Rahsia Perkahwinan 2 (Secrets of Marriage 2) for their engaging and entertaining delivery of community and social messages.
Led by Mr Zainudin Nordin, Mayor, Central Singapore CDC and MP, Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC, MPAC advises the Media Development Authority (MDA) regarding the range and quality of Malay programmes on TV and Radio in order to meet the needs of Malay Singaporeans.
Said Mr Zainudin, “In providing its recommendations to the TV and Radio broadcasters, MPAC hopes that the provision of a wider and more balanced range of high-quality programming can be offered to benefit the Malay community. Even as broadcasters strive to entertain their audience and to remain competitive in the face of newer forms of media, a balance should be struck between staying commercially viable and fulfilling their social role.”
Quality productions by broadcasters
Generally, MPAC is pleased with local productions for effectively delivering community and social messaging in an entertaining and engaging manner. Examples singled out by MPAC include dramas such as Tetangga 2 (Neighbours 2), Rahsia Perkahwinan 2 (Secrets of Marriage 2) and SekSa (Torture);as well as the variety show Kpak Bing Bing. MPAC also welcomed co-productions for cultural programmes such as the Rapsodi Remix (Rhapsody Remix) and Muzika Ekstravaganza (Musical Extravaganza), which featured talents and broadcasters from Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia.
Proper usage of the Malay language
At the same time, MPAC cautioned against the overuse of colloquialism in programmes. MPAC urged broadcasters to continuously take steps to improve the language proficiency of their presenters as they represent the image and reflect the competency of the broadcasters. Some programmes singled out by MPAC for their efforts to promote the proper usage of the language include Tahu Nahu (Know Your Grammar), Cakap Sini Habis Sini (Talk Here, Ends Here) and the filler Potret Bahasa (Language Snippets).
Another concern MPAC had was the need to promote quality educational children’s programmes relevant to the local context such as Tahu Nahu and Cili Padi even if the ratings for this genre are not as good as that of other entertainment genres. MPAC commended the children’s programme Krayon and welcomed its collaboration with Radio Television Malaysia (RTM).
On the first locally-packaged Malay subscription cable channel, MPAC noted that Sensasi had made efforts to improve its programming mix and standards. Nonetheless, the broadcaster should increase its local content over time and place less emphasis on acquired programmes. Sensasi should also ensure that proper advisories are included in its programmes with unsuitable themes such as horror.
Cultural, Current Affairs and Info-educational programmes
Other areas of improvement suggested by MPAC included providing more community-based programmes to promote the local Arts scene to the public as well as programmes that showcase traditional music such as keroncong and asli to cater to the needs of the older generation. As Current Affairs programmes are a means through which important messages are conveyed to the community, MPAC also encouraged Suria channel to attract new viewers by introducing formats that could allow for more public participation. For info-educational programmes, broadcasters should remain alert to possible public sensitivities in their quest to showcase the various local cultures and religious practices.
Observations and Recommendations for Radio Programmes
Moving on to observations for radio programmes, MPAC suggested that Ria consider having children-related programmes that target young parents to address the lack of info-educational content and children’s programmes. Warna was also advised to consider having storylines based on light-hearted issues for its radio dramas. As such programmes have visual potential, Warna could also consider staging them as "live" events. In addition, MPAC advised radio DJs to exercise more caution with the subjects discussed during programmes including those that invite public participation.
The MPAC report 2006/2008 can be found on (www.mda.gov.sg/mpac).
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Malay Programmes Advisory Committee (MPAC)
The Malay Programmes Advisory Committee (MPAC) was set up in August 1995 to evaluate the content and quality of Malay TV and Radio programmes and their impact on the Malay community in Singapore, as well as make recommendations on their improvement.
Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA)
Formed in 2003, the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) plays a vital role in transforming Singapore into a Global Media City and positioning it at the forefront of the digital media age. MDA spearheads initiatives that promote developments in film, video, television, radio, publishing, music, games, animation, media services and Interactive Digital Media. At the same time, in ensuring clear and consistent regulatory policies and guidelines, MDA helps to foster a pro-business environment for industry players and increase media choices for consumers. For more information, visit www.mda.gov.sg and www.smf.sg