SOLO singer Zainal Abidin has appointed a lawyer to demand payment due to him for his performance at the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games 2017 closing ceremony.
“After this non-payment issue went viral, 15 lawyers have offered their services to us for free. We have just met with a lawyer to demand justice.
“We cannot wait for a week because we want to resolve this quickly. If they pay up, we’ll close the case. If we file a suit, they will still have to pay,” Zainal’s manager, Angelina Asmali told The Malaysian Insight.
Angelina said Zainal, who is being represented by lawyer Mathew Thomas Philip, would not hesitate to take legal action if the event management company failed to respond to them by today.
The company had paid Zainal 50% of his fees and promised to pay the other half one week after the closing ceremony on August 30.
Zainal did not sign a contract with the event management company, as it was a reputable firm.
“Although we didn’t sign a contract, we had issued an invoice and we received (the first 50%) payment.
“We can use the invoice and Zainal Abidin’s singing footage as proof,” said Angelina.
She added that Zainal was gathering other artistes who had yet to receive their fee from the event management company.
“Come to us. We’ll fight for you. Why should we be afraid? We’re not blaming the government. We are asking for (what is due to us),” said Angelina.
Besides Zainal, popular emcee and singer Adibah Noor is also gathering the names of performers and service personnel who have not been paid.
The issue caught the public’s eye after Adibah took to Twitter on Friday to complain about the overdue payment.
Several hours after Prime Minister Najib Razak tabled Budget 2018 in Dewan Rakyat, Adibah tweeted: “I’m sad to hear my friends complain that they have not been paid for performing at the Sea Games Closing. The excuse given was ‘too busy with #Budget2018′”.
Her twitter post attracted more complaints from other performers and service personnel, who also claimed that they had not been paid.
Adibah said on Sunday that the National Sports Council secretary-general Lokman Hakim Ali had since reached out to her.
She then posted on Facebook: “Our voice has been heard by the Ministry of Youth and Sports. For those of you who are yet to be paid for services rendered for #SeaGames2017 please email me…”.
Other artistes, such as Faizal Tahir and Siti Nordiana, who also performed that night, declined to comment on the issue.
The Malaysian Sea Games organising committee (Masoc) chief executive officer Zolkples Embong said the committee had settled 70% of the payment for companies awarded contracts for the Kuala Lumpur Sea Games in August and Asean Para games in September.
He said Masoc was “disappointed” by the complaints, and it aims to settle all outstanding payments by the end of this month.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT