I first heard about the movie "Tanda Putera" at a buka puasa function. What I gathered was that it was a very moving real life movie, focusing two of Malaysia's prominent leaders Tun Abdul Razak and his deputy Tun Dr Ismail as main characters, during the turbulent time of 13 May 1969.
Directed after intense research by acclaimed industry icon Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba the movie is now set to open in cinemas on 15 November after much controversy.
When I spoke to my wife, who is personally acquainted with Datin Paduka Shuhaimi Baba, about the various controversies surrounding the film, the missus did not say much but that the director is an upright person.
You may be wondering by now what has all of this got to do with Datuk Afendi Hamdan.
Well, looking for material for a Merdeka Day article I came across 1Malaysia IPTV. Yes I must admit I had no knowledge what so ever about it.
Anyway, what caught my attention was "1Malaysia TV is run by 1 Media IPTV Sdn Bhd with Datuk Mad (sic) Afendi Hamdan acting as advisor". The name was familiar and I remember related to "Tanda Putera". But what stoked my curiosity on Datuk Afendi was another quite recent article on 1 Media IPTV and it was not complimentary, that it was a huge disappointment.
In the process to locate the exact article on "Tanda Putera" that mentioned Datuk Afendi, searching the web and before finding it here, I found a some other unsavoury matters apart from Datuk Afendi being chairman of FINAS.
Among others was that Datuk Afendi had reneged on an agreement which reached the supreme court on an appeal and won by the aggrieved party, Chase Perdana.
Another was "Tian Chua's Photo: Rcvd letter of demand frm Afendi Hamdan", most probably a response to an allegation.
The most disturbing, is a Sabahkini article "Pemilik RCH Pengerusi Baru FINAS?", alleging Datuk Afendi to be an Anwar Ibrahim crony. Appearing, as it were, in a portal seemingly opposition leaning, I cannot give this allegation any credence but no rebuttal could be found. I stand corrected.
RCH, I found out is a chain of fast food outlets, Rafflesia Chicken Hut.
Apart from the fast food outlet, Datuk Afendi is himself involved in the movie industry before assuming the FINAS chairmanship which gave rise to another allegation, conflict of interest, but was promptly denied.
Datuk Afendi came into the public sphere sometime in 2009, when he was appointed as a Commission Member of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (SKMM) effective from 29 December 2009 for a period of two years and must have assumed the FINAS chairmanship immediately after that.
This I cannot confirm because there is not much information to be found on FINAS chairmanship appointments.
That said, with the movie industry, other business interests, duties at FINAS and as advisor for 1 Media IPTV could this have taken a toll on Datuk Afendi, causing 1 Media TV being a huge disappointment?
Given FINAS' chairmanship appointments lack of public information and "Tanda Putera", a joint venture with FINAS under Datuk Affendi's watch, getting into all sorts of controversies, I believe it would be more more appropriate if all executive appointments, not only FINAS but all other GLC's be transparent and open to public scrutiny to avoid future incidents such as this and other more damaging controversies that may arise.
A pertinent question would be if I with just a laptop, being an ordinary Joe having deep concerns for the government I support, could come across bits of information that creates doubts as to the integrity of a person in high office, in this case a FINAS chairman, how can or will the minister or any other minister for that matter defend onslaughts by a resourceful opposition with more tangible allegations?
Happy Merdeka Day fellow Malaysians.