The unprecedented clamor to covet the post of the President of the Malaysian Film Directors' Association (FDAM) is mind boggling to say the least.
The Association, which is the only association in the country that has as its members Malaysian film directors (including TV directors), will be having their Annual General Meeting this coming 30th December. This is after suddenly postponing (three days before) the previously announced date which was 20th December.
Most members who had cleared their schedules for the 20th of December suddenly find themselves not being able to attend the 30th December AGM. Those not able to change their plans and attend the AGM include Afdlin Shauki and Hans Isaac.
It is estimated at least 20 people who are supporting one particular opposing candidate will not be able to attend on the 30th.
In one fell blow, incumbent president Ahmad Ibrahim or more popularly known as Mat London, improved his chances of yet securing another victory as the association's president.
There seem to be no real challenge to Mat London's leadership, except maybe from Mamat Khalid, director of Kala Malam Bulan Mengambang and the upcoming Estet, who has announced that he will be offering his services as FDAM President at the AGM.
Whilst Mamat is trying to get his act together, rounding up the support of some impressive members in the industry, Mat London has been securing endorsements from his own fan base quietly and without much fanfare.
What is sad to me is that the members of the association, who are film and tv directors, who claim to be intellectuals and thinkers, can't seem to realise that the association has not been functioning like it should or could be.
Most too seem to be oblivious about the lack of proper management of their own association. The members' lack of understanding of the association's constitution and the rules and regulations of running as association under the Registrar of Societies Act is also disconcerting.
Such a core understanding of what an association should be, has led to what FDAM is today, a shadow of what it once hoped to be and the laughing stock of the industry.
Why? Well, for one, for an association of so-called elite filmmakers, it currently uses for their office an old container offered to them by FINAS.
Instead of rejecting the offer, FDAM has made it their office for the past 8 years. This is the image of the association if outsiders come to visit FDAM.
With the RM30,000 grant the association receive from FINAS annually, they could have done better by getting or renting a better address and space for its members to call 'home away from home'. So, it will be interesting to check the association's accounts and balance sheet to see where that RM30,000 went to.
However, what FDAM has also failed to do, under the current regime, is to set a path to make its members a respectable lot. As supposed leaders in the film industry, FDAM's voice is hardly heard nor considered eloquent or relevant.
The current leaders tenure is nearing its end, and I think it is a travesty if the members allow them to be re-elected once again.
Then again, those who should lead the community of directors don't seem to want to challenge Mat London and Co.
The members are in a messy quagmire and it will be interesting to see how they vote come next weekend.
I feel, and I hope to be proven wrong, that come this 30th December, members of FDAM will once again vote for mediocrity and self-mutilation by voting in again the incumbents.