#Showbiz: Sazali P. Ramlee seeks financial help for wife's surgery

KUALA LUMPUR: Sazali P. Ramlee, the son of the late King of Entertainment Tan Sri P. Ramlee is appealing to the public for financial assistance to enable his wife to undergo surgery.

The 64-year-old said in an interview with Harian Metro Online yesterday that his wife, Hamidah Hitam, 61, was suffering from a spinal ailment which affected her neck nerves, and doctors have advised her to undergo surgery as soon as possible.

"My wife has been dealing with this ailment for sometime, but she has not been able to get the right medical treatment due to financial constraints," said Sazali.

Sazali who is also ailing, depends on royalty payments for his father's songs from Music Authors Copyright Protection (MACP) to survive.

Unfortunately, royalty payments ended this year under the Copyright Act 1987, as Ramlee's music entered the public domain 50 years after his death on May 29, 1973.

"The last payment I received was on July 31, it was RM9,000 and not sufficient for my wife's medical treatment. She needs RM14,000."

Sazali hopes to meet Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to discuss the extension of royalty payments.

He had earlier met the late Domestic Trade and Cost of Living Minister Datuk Seri Salahuddin Ayub to discuss royalty payments but no decision was reached as Salahuddin died on July 23.

"I would be grateful to the government if I can meet the Prime Minister. I believe he will do his best to assist me in extending the period of royalty payments," said Sazali, who receives RM900 a month from Pusat Zakat Selangor and the Social Welfare Department.

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