KUALA LUMPUR – Up to 300 local artistes are indebted to loan sharks, the Association of Malaysian Artistes said.
Its president Zed Zaidi said the lack of job offers often force these artistes to borrow from illegal money lenders, Metro Ahad, the Sunday edition of Malay daily Metro Harian, reported.
He said only 20 per cent of them get regular job offers while the rest live in the state of constant uncertainty.
“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 was misused,” Zed was quoted saying.
The amount borrowed usually ranged from RM5,000 to RM10,000 the paper reported.
The group had also voiced concern over the possibility that this could lead to lenders using these bank accounts to deposit proceeds from illegal activities such as online gambling.
“We are concerned that one day, there will be artistes accused of money laundering,” Zed was quoted as saying.
The group’s secretary-general Mohd Hafiz Mohd Nafiah was also reported urging artistes who were unable to repay their debts to consult him.
The association was reported to have offered these artistes help to find job opportunities.