Eighty percent of artistes and employees in the entertainment industry in dire straits.
The Association of Malaysian Artistes claimed that some 300 artistes had borrowed from ‘Ah Longs’ due to the lack of job offers, Metro Ahad reported.
(L-R) Mohd Hafiz Mohd Nafiah and Zed Zaidi.
Its president Zed Zaidi said records showed that while 20% of artistes and employees in the entertainment industry receive regular offers, the remaining 80% do not and they live in a state of constant uncertainty.
He said these artistes would borrow between RM5,000 and RM10,000 before going into hiding when they could not pay the interest.
“What is worrying is that the Ah Long would hold on to their ATM cards. There was a case where the data and personal information of an artiste were misused.
“The Ah Long could also use these bank accounts to deposit their proceeds from illegal activities such as online gambling.
“We’re just worried that one day, there will be celebrities accused of money laundering,” he said.
The group’s secretary-general Mohd Hafiz Mohd Nafiah urged artistes who were unable to repay their debts to illegal money lenders to see him. He said the association would help them find job opportunities.