Legendary guitarist and musician Man Kidal recently tested positive for COVID-19
In an interview with Berita Harian, the 57-year-old artiste's daughter revealed that Man Kidal, whose real name is Abdul Rahman Mahmood, tested positive for the coronavirus disease after a swab test at a private clinic.
His wife, Norlaila Yusof, had been infected with the virus before him and he was a close contact. However, Norlaila has recovered while Man Kidal's health is still declining.
The woman said, "My condition is a bit better compared to my husband who is still weak and lifeless. His condition is quite bad because he has a high fever and he became restless due to the illness."
"Thankfully, he is not experiencing shortness of breath. We're supposed to go to the COVID-19 Assessment Centre (CAC) at Malawati Stadium. But since the situation there is quite bad with a lot of people, we chose to stay home and called a doctor to run tests," she added.
"The doctor advised us to quarantine in our own rooms. However, if there are emergencies, especially if any of us experience shortness of breath, they asked us to contact the Ministry of Health immediately."
Besides struggling with his current health condition, the rock star from Johor has been facing financial difficulties over the past two years due to the pandemic
Norlaila, who is also Man Kidal's manager, told Berita Harian that their life has been difficult since the first Movement Control Order (MCO) in March 2020 as the government banned live performances.
The woman said that her husband was left jobless since he had always depended on his music career to sustain their livelihood.
"In the current situation, I am saddened by the fate that has fallen upon my husband. He hasn't worked in two years, now he's infected with COVID-19," she said.
"In all honesty, we are really hoping for aid from anyone. Doesn't matter what kind of help is given. With Man's condition where he has COVID-19 and no work, we will just accept it. After all, throughout Man's involvement in the arts, we have never asked for help from any party. Even if we did, we never got it," she added.
Due to his inability to work, Norlaila explained that her husband has tried to find other ways to earn money, including starting a business and working on certain projects.
However, those efforts were dampened by the pandemic as well.
"The last time Man performed was in 2019 in Singapore. When he couldn't work, we used his savings to start a business," Norlaila said.
"Besides that, Man carried out a few projects including a collaboration with Hillary Ang, guitarist for the rock band Search. However, the pandemic has affected our business and projects had to be delayed. A lot of money has been spent but no money has been earned."
Norlaila then said that she understands that a lot of people are affected by the pandemic.
"As those affected, we really hope that there are people who sympathise with us and are willing to offer help," she said.
Man Kidal and his band Lefthanded have been around since the 80s and they are famous for tracks such as Tiada Lagi Kidungmu and Ku Di Halaman Rindu
In the year 1996, their album Nafas won the award for best rock album at the Anugerah Industri Muzik, an award show that celebrates local musicians.
Before launching their own album, the members of Lefthanded were part of the ensemble that accompanied stars such as Ramli Sarip and Rahim Maarof.
Their tracks have also been covered by newer bands such as Kyoto Protocol and last year, Man Kidal was featured in a song with Naim Daniel entitled Sembah.
Man Kidal isn't the only Malaysian artiste that has been affected by the pandemic.
Ross Ariffin, a well-known composer and music producer who has been in the music industry for about 40 years, said that all of his avenues and potential jobs disappeared almost overnight: