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Malaysian company to produce Tamil television programmes

Special Correspondent

It will hold negotiations with satellite channels based in State



SCOPE FOR COOPERATION: Chief Minister Jayalalithaa greeting Malaysian Information Minister Abdul Kadir Bin Sheikh Fadzir at the Secretariat in Chennai on Tuesday. — Photo: V. Ganesan

CHENNAI: The Government of Malaysia has decided to rope in the services of the entertainment industry, in its bid to promote closer relationship with India.

Malaysian Minister of Information Abdul Kadir Bin Sheikh Fadzir told reporters here on Tuesday that his Government had appointed a private company, promoted by a Malaysian citizen of Indian origin, for producing television programmes. It proposed to hold negotiations with satellite channels based in Tamil Nadu. The company, Promajestic, had discussions with Jaya TV.

Given the fact that 90 per cent of the Malaysian citizens of Indian origin were from Tamil Nadu, there would be no problem over language. "There is a ready market for such programmes," the Minister said. Several Tamil programmes were popular not only among the Tamils in his country but also among other ethnic groups.

Mr. Fadzir said the Government had assured the company guaranteed airtime on its television channel. The programmes to be produced should not promote sex and violence. Thirty per cent of the programme should be shot in Malaysia and 30 per cent of the cast should belong there.

Asked about similar arrangements in other languages, he said a Chinese programme was under production and would be telecast in February.

Similar collaborative efforts had been taken with Indonesia and Thailand.

The Minister, who called on Chief Minister Jayalalithaa at the Secretariat, said he had emphasised the need for furthering the bond between Malaysia and India, particularly Tamil Nadu. Greater people-to-people contact would promote two-way trade, tourism and investment.

He also met the Ministers of Finance, Public Works and Information departments.

Recently, Information Ministers of the Non-Aligned Movement countries met in Kuala Lumpur and decided to establish a NAM news agency. It would be operational by March.

Mr. Fadzir said he would visit Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai this week. In Delhi, he would meet the Union Ministers for Finance and Information and Broadcasting.

Rosli Ismail, Consul General of Malaysia in Chennai, was present.

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