Zakaria speaks to reporters. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

KUCHING: The National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas) Sarawak branch will set up a team to look into the welfare of local artistes.

Its chairman Zakaria Abd Hamid said the team is an extension of Finas’ Welfare and Industry Affairs Committee under the charge of board member Datuk Seri Iezlan Yusof at the national level.

“The Sarawak team will be led by Finas board member Datuk Norhyati Mohd Ismail who is also a former director – general of RTM (Radio Televisyen Malaysia).

“She will set up the team in Sarawak to mobilise welfare programmes to assist deserving local artistes,” he said.

He told reporters this after paying a visit to local veteran artist Safar Ghaffar at his residence at Taman Sukma here on Saturday. The visit was in conjunction with Ziarah Kasih Finas Prihatin programme.

Finas chief executive officer Ahmad Idham Ahmad Nadzri explained that the programme started during the movement control order (MCO) period to provide financial assistance to needy artistes.

“To date, we have spent almost RM200,000 for this programme,” he revealed.

Meanwhile, Safar expressed his gratitude towards Finas for its concern to the affected industry players especially veteran artistes like him.

Safar is a Kuching-born artiste who emerged as runner-up in Bintang RTM 1983 contest. The 62-year-old veteran singer was popular back then with some of his hits ― Hanya Seminit and Mun Masih Muda.