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#Showbiz: Ahmad Idham to return to film directing

KUALA LUMPUR: Filmmaker Ahmad Idham Ahmad Nadzri is not worried about finding work after his contract as cultural secretary for the Foreign Ministry was recently terminated.

The 48-year-old former CEO of the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas) was reported to have already received several offers including to direct a 40-episode drama.

Ahmad Idham said that he was not worried since he had his own businesses.

However, he added that his focus would be on corporate social responsibility (CSR) work via the Civil Defence Force (APM).

"I've been in the industry for over 20 years and my interest now is more towards giving back to society. It's because of the strong support from these people that's made me what I am today," he said in a news report today.

Ahmad Idham who was recently appointed as deputy commissioner (civil defence) added: "Coincidentally, I have a platform via APM, so I want to use it to conduct social work for the people."

When asked about the reason for his sudden contract termination, Ahmad Idham said that till today no reason was relayed to him on the matter.

On Feb 23, Ahmad Idham and Datuk Seri Eizlan Yusof received a 24-hour written notice for the termination of their respective contracts as cultural secretary and creative advisor to the Foreign Ministry after only about four months of service.

Although he has accepted the decision, Ahmad Idham said that he still received queries from the public on what had happened.

"Initially, I just wanted to look ahead and view this issue from a positive angle. But when I go to the store or wherever, people that I don't know have even asked me about why our contracts were terminated.

"Some are of the opinion that we have been mistreated which makes me question if there was any truth to it.

"I'm human so there would be a bit of disappointment. What's worse is when I recall accusations that there was political lobbying on my part," he said.

The Adnan Sempit and Hantu Bonceng director added that he became a member of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) because he was confident in the party's leadership.

"Prior to this, I had not even announced my affiliation to this party. This is due to my right to support whichever party that I want.

"However, I never expected that being a member of Bersatu and working in a ministry under Bersatu would see me being treated this way. This then begs the question of whether joining this party was the right decision," he said.

Ahmad Idham added that he was further hurt by accusations that he and Eizlan had lobbied to contest in the 15th General Election even though they were not committee members of the party in Pahang.

"We have never been committee members of Bersatu in Pahang and this is the problem as till today, no explanation has been given on our terminations," he said.

On the brighter side of things, Ahmad Idham said that he had met about 90 per cent of his targets during his four-month tenure in the Foreign Ministry.

He was also relieved that the Cultural Diplomacy Unit is currently in the final stages of being approved by the Public Service Department (JPA).

"What's important is for this unit to exist. Whoever leads this Cultural Diplomacy Unit will spearhead efforts to bring Malaysia's works, music and products to the global arena.

"I could also provide assistance if needed, unless there were any parties that would want to see it fail by sabotaging it but then that would be a different issue," he said.

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