"We Were Called Pigs" - SEA Games Performer Says Dancers Were Ill-Treated During Training

"We (the dancers) were treated badly whenever the payment issue was brought up."

Cover image via Borneo Bulletin

In a shocking turn of events, some of the people who performed during the SEA Games opening ceremony revealed that they were verbally abused when they were training

Performers dancing during the opening of the 2017 SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur.

Image via Borneo Bulletin

Free Malaysia Today (FMT) spoke to two of the performers who were involved with the 2017 SEA Games and one of them claimed that they were ill treated by the company that the organisers hired to be in charge of the performances. 

"They promised to give us a higher payment but to date, there has been no word from them. The person in charge left the WhatsApp group. It is because we keep asking for our money," explained Nur Aien Md Sahar, one of the dancers who performed during the opening ceremony of SEA Games 2017. 

"We were also called harsh names, such as 'pigs', when we were training for the performances."

"Apart from that, we had to fork out our own money for transport, food, and uniforms but we did not mind as they had promised to pay us more. But they did not," added the Form Five student, who's a part-time dancer, to FMT. 

She said that the company still owes some of them who performed for the opening ceremony RM500 and stressed that it could be more for those who also performed at the closing ceremony. 

Other than her, Aien said that other performers including students, silat exponents, traditional dancers, and the Orang Asli performers too have yet to receive their payments. 

Meanwhile, another performer that FMT spoke to said that he was treated badly when he asked about the payment for his performances

The KL SEA Games closing ceremony was held on 30 August.

Image via Bernama/Malay Mail Online

"We (the dancers) were treated badly whenever the payment issue was brought up. They owe us around RM1,000 per dancer but they have remained silent. 

"During rehearsals, some of the us were asked to go get our own uniforms," said the man, who wished to remain anonymous. 

While explaining that he is no longer in touch with the company in charge of the payments, the performer did, however, say that he is really hoping the payments would be settled soon. He had apparently performed during both the opening and closing ceremonies. 

Just earlier today, the Malaysian Organising Committee (MASOC) said that it will try to resolve all payment issues by the end of the month.

The issue first came to light after singer-actress Adibah Noor posted a tweet about it on Sunday, 29 October:

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