MCI works with local Malay talents to help the community better understand government policies and initiatives 

This Hari Raya Puasa, fans of acclaimed filmmaker M. Raihan Halim, who produced Singapore’s first commercial Malay film since the 70s, Banting, can look forward to his new telemovie, Gunting. Filmed in collaboration with the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and Tribal Worldwide, Gunting explores the estranged relationship between a father and his son, underscoring the struggle between meeting a parent’s expectations and pursuing one’s own aspirations. The telemovie also encourages Singaporeans to seize new opportunities in the digital economy, through skills mastery, lifelong learning, and a spirit to innovate and think global. 


2 Gunting (which means ‘scissors’ or ‘to cut’ in Malay) tells the story of a young man, played by well-known singer-songwriter Taufik Batisah, who pursues his passion to become a hairstylist despite his father’s fierce objections. When his father, played by veteran actor J A Halim, fell ill and closed his barbershop, Taufik decided to put his career overseas on hold and return to Singapore. Unwilling to let his father’s 40-year legacy disappear, Taufik and his childhood friend Hisyam, played by popular actor Hisyam Hamid, opened a gentleman’s barbershop “Salihin & Sons”, and turned it into a thriving global business.  The show’s leads are supported by other acclaimed artistes such as Adlina Adil, Yuslina Yussof, Rahimah Rahim and Shane Mardjuki. 


3 Minister for Communications and Information and Malay/Muslim affairs, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, who has a cameo role in the telemovie, says, “Explaining government initiatives such as the ‘SMEs Go Digital’ programme through a storytelling format, has been part of the government’s continuous efforts to help Singaporeans understand our policies better. This is the first time we are working with industry talents like Raihan Halim, Taufik Batisah and Hisyam Hamid to produce a Malay telemovie that not only entertains, but also shows how businesses and workers can tap on government schemes to thrive in the digital economy.” 


4 “In Banting, I explored an estranged relationship between a mother and daughter. Gunting is a chance for me to show the other side of the coin - the tense relationship between a father and son, so I was very excited to develop a story around it. It’s a meaningful project but also a new challenge for me as we have to keep the telemovie entertaining even as we weave useful information on SkillsFuture, Professional Conversion Programmes and diabetes into the storyline. I hope viewers will enjoy watching Gunting as much as I have enjoyed the process of bringing it to their screens,” says director Raihan.


5 Fans of Taufik Batisah can also keep an ear out for the telemovie’s theme song titled, Untuk Kita (For Us), composed and penned personally by Taufik. It speaks of following one’s passion and the support that parents can give their children to help them achieve their dreams. The song was released on 30 May, and is currently playing on Warna and Ria. 


6 The telemovie will air on Suria on 25 June 2017, the first day of Hari Raya at 8.30pm, with a repeat telecast on 1 July 2017 at 3pm. The telemovie will be made available on www.youtube.com/govsingapore and Toggle thereafter. 


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