CONTRARY to popular belief that celebrities have it all — fame, fortune and lavish lifestyles — sometimes, that is not always the case.

Malaysian Artistes Association (Seniman) president Zed Zaidi recently revealed that 300 local artistes face financial problem and are in debt with unlicensed moneylender or “ah long”.

“The figure is based on the complaints we have received from artistes between 2015 and last year,” he told the New Straits Times yesterday.

“By exposing this issue, Seniman hopes to reach out to government agencies or any organisations to help us solve this problem.”

Zed urged artistes to have a back-up plan, such as starting their own businesses, to prevent themselves from drowning in debt.

Zed Zaidi

“We need to realise that in this state of economy where cost of living is high, artistes need to find other ways to make a living.

“People’s perception that the entertainment industry is lucrative and that celebrities are highly paid is far from the truth.

“The reality is that like other industries, they, too, face competition to land jobs. Perhaps, only 10 per cent of them are able to continuously secure jobs.

“I’d like to stress that the role of Seniman is not to find jobs for them as we are not a talent agency, but we are trying our best to guide them and provide a solution to this problem,” he said.

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