KUALA LUMPUR: The Film Directors' Association of Malaysia (FDAM) has appealed to the government to expedite the implementation of a group immunisation programme for creative industry players as part of efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Its president, Dr Ahmad Ibrahim, said the industry players consist of all employees involved in the production of dramas, films, commercials, documentaries, and news programmes, both at broadcasting stations or private companies.

"The television stations need to broadcast new programmes, whether dramas, entertainments or documentaries, to carry messages related to COVID-19. Although TV stations can self-produce those programmes, it will not be enough. Many programmes need to be sourced from outside, especially dramas and commercials.

"Without vaccination, it would be difficult for TV stations or external producers to create and supply new programmes because of the risk of infection among the employees who have yet to receive the vaccine," he said in a statement today.

However, Ahmad said the most important issue was the survival of industry players who were fully dependent on production works as a livelihood, with more than 90 per cent of them being freelancers with no fixed income.

"We have not worked for more than a month, and there is no specific assistance from the government.

"By right, the framework for a group immunisation and a designated vaccination centre should have been set up for the media and creative industry players two months ago," he stressed.