Organiser says SEA Games performers will be paid in November

Fireworks explode during the 29th SEA Games opening ceremony at Bukit Jalil Stadium, Kuala Lumpur August 19, 2017. — Reuters pic
Fireworks explode during the 29th SEA Games opening ceremony at Bukit Jalil Stadium, Kuala Lumpur August 19, 2017. — Reuters pic

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PETALING JAYA, Oct 31 — Artistes yet to be paid for their performances at the SEA Games opening and closing ceremonies have been asked to wait another month for agreements to be honoured.

Malaysian Organising Committee (Masoc) said payments were being expedited since the issue was brought to light over the weekend.

“Masoc is working with the finance ministry to speed up the payment process,” said chief executive officer Datuk Seri Zolkples Embong.

“Our target to solve all outstanding payments by the end of next month.”

Zolkples said finances for the 16 subcommittees under Masoc responsible for settling payments are “70 to 90 per cent” fulfilled.

“The subcommittees will be paid if they submitted a complete payment request according to the procedures set by the Kuala Lumpur Finance Committee 2017,” he said.

Volunteers who registered similar complaints about not receiving allowances will have their money “within eight working days”.

“Some have not been paid for technical reasons such as bank account numbers and personal details errors,” said Zolkples.

The delayed payment issue surfaced on Saturday when singer and actress Adibah Nor expressed dissatisfaction on social media on behalf of friends who had not been paid for performances at the SEA Games closing ceremony on Aug 31.

“I used Facebook and Twitter to raise my concern and it reached the right people,” said Adibah, who did not perform at either the SEA Games or Para Asean Games opening and closing ceremonies.

“(Masoc) have made payment to certain agencies but the balance is yet to be paid.”

Abidah said Youth and Sports Ministry secretary general Datuk Lokman Hakim Ali called her to clarify the situation.

“He said they are finalising things and going to expedite payments as soon as possible.”

Pop singer Datuk Zainal Abidin told media outlets he too had not been paid for his performance on Merdeka eve.

“We received the first payment just before the event and we were promised the second payment one week after the closing ceremonies,” Zainal’s wife and manager Datin Angelina Asmawi told Malay Mail.

“It was the closing ceremony of the SEA Games and the country’s 60th Merdeka. It is sad something like this happened as everyone saw how grand the ceremony was.

“The artistes who took part were some of the big names in the country.”

Angelina said some of Zainal’s comments had been misconstrued online and that anger lay with the company rather than organisers.

She said three days ago she was told payment was in process but was given the cold shoulder when she tried again after that.

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