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FINAS Confirms CEO Ahmad Idham’s Exit

Before we get to the actual meat of the story, let’s do a quick little recap. A few weeks ago, CEO of FINAS, Ahmad Idham came out and urged the government to consider censoring contents on Netflix and other streaming platforms. He claimed that a lot of the content on these platforms could be harmful to the children and youth of Malaysia. Naturally, he received a tsunami of backlash on social media. After all, art censorship is never a good thing, especially when done by the government. Besides, parents can literally filter out content they find inappropriate for their kids, by creating kid/teen-friendly profiles and set up digital locks.

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Following his controversial — frankly conservative — statement, it looked like his position as the CEO of FINAS was no longer safe. “Based on the at the current situation, it looks like Ahmad Idham will not be returning to FINAS next March. The reason provided is that he needs some time off to settle personal issues,” some sources claimed.

At the time, FINAS hadn’t confirmed the news. However, in a statement yesterday, FINAS said that Ahmad Idham had requested for his contract which was due in 2021, to be shortened by one year — March 2020.

The FINAS board of directors accepted and approved Idham’s request to shorten his contract to March 10, 2020 for personal reasons.

While the official statement reads “personal reasons,” I highly doubt that is the case, not in its entirety anyway. After all, NST Online quoted him saying the following:

I didn’t apply for this job, it was offered to me. Therefore, I accept whatever decision made.

While Harian Metro, on the other hand, quoted the following (translated):

Yes, I did send a letter to end my contract early, but that decision was made after I received pressure from certain parties.

I think it’s clear that FINAS and/or the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia urged Ahmad Idham to step down, perhaps after realising that he’s not a right fit for the job.

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Click here to read why we think media censorship is bad for Malaysians.

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