PETALING JAYA: The youth and sports ministry has given its assurance that the issue of payments to artistes, who performed at the closing ceremony of the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games 2017 (KL2017) will be resolved by the end of November, the Malaysian Artistes Association (Seniman) said today.
Its president Zed Zaidi said they were informed of this when they checked with the ministry for clarification.
“We have taken note of the matter… I hope the issue can be settled as promised,” he told FMT today.
Zaidi said he did not fully blame the ministry over the issue of unsettled payments after the ceremony had taken place at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Aug 30.
He said he was made to understand that the payments were being administered by a company appointed through a tender process to manage both the opening and closing ceremonies of KL2017.
The issue first came to light when singer-actress Adibah Noor tweeted about it.
Writing in Malay, she expressed sadness that “friends performing at the SEA Games closing ceremony had yet to receive payment.”
One of those who was not paid, singer Zainal Abidin, said the organisers should remunerate them as agreed in their contracts.
“It’s not just ministers who want a life of luxury. We artistes also want a good life,” he was quoted as saying by Malaysiakini on Oct 29.
Besides Zainal, other celebrities including Ella, Amy Search, David Arumugam, Siti Nordiana, Faizal Tahir, Francissca Peters and Hijjaz also performed at the event.
David said he had not received his payment as well but was not worried about it.
Zaidi said this was not the first time artistes had become victims of problems related to payment.
He defended Adibah for bringing the issue to public attention and said, “Maybe some quarters have misunderstood her criticism, but her statements were not meant to insult anyone,” he said.
“Her statements should be viewed positively. Don’t blame Adibah Noor because she undertook the responsibility to help other artistes,” he added.