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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

We were badly treated, say SEA Games performers

SEA-GAMES-1

PETALING JAYA: After complaints by several artistes that they had yet to be paid for their performances at the closing ceremony of the Kuala Lumpur SEA Games, more performers have voiced out their dissatisfaction over the way they were treated.
One of the dancers who performed at the official opening ceremony of the SEA games, Nur Aien Md Sahar, said not only had payment been delayed but they were also treated poorly by the company hired by the organisers to take charge of the performances.
“They promised to give us a higher payment but to date, there has been no word from them. The person in charge has even left the WhatsApp group. It is because we keep asking for our money.
“We were also called harsh names, such as ‘pigs’, when we were training for the performances.
“Apart from that, we had to fork out our own money for transport, food, and uniforms but we did not mind as they had promised to pay us more. But they did not,” said the 17-year-old student, who danced part-time.
Aien claimed the company owed them about RM500, adding that it could be more for those who also performed at the closing ceremony.
She said there were many other performers, including students, silat exponents, traditional dancers and the Orang Asli performers, who also had not received their payments.
Another performer, who declined to be identified for fear of being victimised, said he was no longer in touch with the company but was hopeful that he would still be paid for the performances during the opening and closing ceremonies.
He said when he had earlier asked for his payment, the company had labelled him as being obsessed with money.
“We (the dancers) were treated badly whenever the payment issue was brought up. They owe us around RM1,000 per dancer but they remained silent.
“During the rehearsals, some of us were asked to get our own uniforms,” he said.
When contacted by FMT, the company declined to comment for now.
The issue of delayed payment first came to light when singer-actress Adibah Noor posted about it on Twitter.
She had expressed sadness that “friends performing at the SEA Games closing ceremony had yet to receive payment”.
She expressed hope that the payment would be expedited, adding that it was not just the celebrities who had not received any payment but also other performers, including dancers and children.
Singer Zainal Abidin, who performed at the closing ceremony, was one of those who was still waiting to be paid.
He was told that Putrajaya had appointed a company to handle the payments for the performers who took part in the closing ceremony.
The Malaysian Organising Committee (Masoc) for the SEA Games, when contacted by FMT today, said it was not responsible for the performances.
“We did not manage any performances. Payments were made to the agency that was engaged and they handled the performances and also the artistes,” an officer said.
Meanwhile, The Star Online quoted Masoc CEO Zolkples Embong as saying that all performers could expect to be paid by end of November.
He said the committee had made 70% of the payments to the companies which were contracted to organise the opening and closing ceremony of the KL SEA Games.
“Masoc is now working with the finance ministry to expedite the payment process,” he was quoted as saying. -FMT

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