#SHOWBIZ: Actor Dharma sad his children face mounting criticism

KUALA LUMPUR: Dharma Harun Al-Rashid, 68, an actor popular in the 1980s, is not paying attention to criticism of his two children, who are accused of not wanting to work to help resolve his financial problems.

Siti Qurratu Aini, 36, and Muhammad Al Syafiq Mohamad Azman, 35, came under fire after news broke that they would soon be evicted from their home in Wangsa Maju due to their father's failure to pay several months of rent.

Dharma said outsiders did not know the whole story, and that he was the one who had encouraged them to continue their studies now.

"I'm aware of the criticism directed at them. Of course, as a father, I feel sad that my children are being accused and ridiculed.

"They have been helping me make films since they were 18. They have assisted in my production of dramas and television shows.

"They have acted, written scripts, produced and directed.

"Before the lockdown, we did not face financial problems.

"But problems started when a TV station that promised to buy a programme produced by my company, titled 'Deko Ibadah' and worth RM312,000, did not follow through."

He said: "I don't understand why outsiders are angry about my children continuing their studies. They could be angry if my children were just hanging out in malls.

"All this while, they have followed my requests and gotten involved in the production world, to the point where they had no time to further their studies. So now is the best time.

"I want them to be educated so they can find stable jobs. They don't have to live a life of hardship anymore."

Siti Qurratu Aini has chosen to remain silent and not react to the criticism.

She is studying for a bachelor's degree in writing with honours (film and television writing) at the National Academy of Arts, Culture and Heritage (Aswara).

"I can't shut people's mouths. If I am on the right side, there is no need to make a fuss.

"We did not face financial problems before, so my focus was only on studying. But I didn't expect us to be tested this way.

"I know some people are wondering why I don't work while studying. My schedule is too packed, but maybe after this, I will consider it."

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