Thursday, August 04, 2005

Astro - Transparent on Voting Process

KUALA LUMPUR : “There is no part of the voting process that is not transparent!” Astro programme director Zainir Aminullah told The Malay Mail today that the reason for the station in deciding not to reveal the real-time results of the public poll for the reality TV talent search was to allow heightened suspense to take over come the finale.
“We are not going to address speculation which have arisen over the decision, and we will offer a very straightforward response to questions raised. “There is no part of the voting process that is not transparent,” he insists . Zainir elaborated that their appointed auditors would ensure that. “Our auditors, Price Waterhouse-Coopers (PWC) are taking care of the entire process throughout, until the moment the results are out. “The rationale behind it is simply to make it more fun and more intriguing to participate in the finals with an element of suspense, not knowing what their standings are at any point in time before the results are officially announced at the end of it all.” He said that since the competition has now taken a twist with only four in the finals after a second round of double elimination last Saturday night’s concert, the secrecy over the standings was an added element of surprise to this season’s programme.
“The issue of transparency will not only not come into play as we will share the results. We will confirm the view of the masses of a foregone conclusion. And that’s part of the attraction. That’s what ensures the show at its best that always promises something fresh with the format every time around.” After the announcement by Akademi Fantasia host Aznil Nawawi during the post-concert programme, Imbasan Akademi Fantasia on Saturday, the public has lashed out with claims ranging from allegations of the wildest of conspiracy theories to accusations of Astro attempting to make more profits by inducing panic among fans to spend by not allowing them access to the vote standings. “We will not respond to speculation or allegations,” was Zainir’s curt comment. Meanwhile, on the new addition of the Anugerah Vokal Terbaik, he insisted that the award would be a result of a public poll in the spirit of Akademi Fantasia where viewers have their say. This, he said despite many disputing that the award should be for the most popular vocal, since it was a result of a public poll, and not best vocals since a professional jury did not have a say.“For Akademi Fantasia, the viewers, the fans are the best in deciding what they want, so we stand by the public polling.” On the venue of the final at the weekly home for Akademi Fantasia III in Stadium Malawati, Zainir said the location of the stage for the final had been set, “a long time ago.” He shrugged off complaints over the sold-out status of tickets, and claims that the seating capacity was insufficient compared to the finals last year which were held at Stadium Putra in Bukit Jalil. Tickets were snapped up within hours of release of sales, leaving many disappointed. “It was a question of planning and logistics. Besides, it’s not too small. The stadium offers a 6,000 seating capacity for the final, and we think that’s big enough.”

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