Local artistes feel sidelined, want curbs on foreign performers


KOTA KINABALU: Local musicians and band group have jointly called on the government to regulate inflow of foreign artistes who have long been dominating the entertainment scene in Sabah.

They claimed the influx of foreign performers, especially from The Philippines, had badly affected the talents and future of local artistes.

They explained that their motion to regulate foreign acts is the best way to promote equal protection of local artistes, managers and performers in Sabah.

Sabah Musician Club Association president Azman Hairuddin said in a statement that local performers are religiously paying taxes to the government but foreign artistes do not.

They felt they deserve significant appreciation and protection, he said.

“We regret to note that most of local performers are getting slightly lower pay than foreign performers, though local performers are also talented and skillful and able to pull the crowd.

“So we don’t know what other kinds of protection or incentives can be done for local artistes that are not already being done,” he said.

He claimed local entertainers are not very much protected, though they are comparable with those foreign performers, skillful, talented and able to pull the crowd.

“They can be terminated soon after their contract expired without having to continue. They are merely treated as backup performers.

Azman lamented local artistes too know how to strategically package themselves but given less opportunity by many night spot operators.

“The idea now is to compete with Pinoy. The rules of the games have changed. We have to compete with them, so long as there is no control to regulate foreign artistes, ” he added.

“How are our local artistes going to survive?” they asked.

“We are certain the government do not want to see the looming Pinoy influences in our State. We have always maintained our local artistes have to be protected and defended,” he said.

They proposed for an equal treatment of 70 (local performers) ÷ 30 (foreign artistes) percent.

There are less than 30 per cent now of local performers performing in the entertainment outlets in Sabah.

He reiterated Filipino bands had dominated entertainment spots over a decade raising major concern to local performers.