Malaysian Artistes’ Association (Karyawan) president Datuk Freddie Fernandez.
Persatuan Seniman Malaysia president Rozaidi Abdul Jamil.

KUALA LUMPUR: SCORES of celebrities who endorsed dubious and potentially harmful beauty services in clear violation of the law now want their fans to immediately stop undergoing such treatments.

After being made aware of the dangers, the celebrities conceded that they should have known better than to “promote” products and services which may potentially harm their fans. These celebrities, many of them being A-listers in the country, want their fans to forget any “endorsements” that they made for injectable beauty products and the increasingly-popular ozone treatment, which the Health Ministry is highly concerned about.

These celebrities, who have unwittingly promoted these services, are shocked to learn that what they have done is clearly against the law. They expressed regret over their actions and apologised to their fans. These are what some of them said.

Remy Ishak, actor

It (the promotion of dubious services) was a mistake. I am only human. I failed to do enough due diligence before submitting myself to the procedure that I was promoting.

But I did ask the operators about the procedure. They falsely claimed that it had been approved by the Health Ministry.

I should have known better than to take the word of the operators at face value. I actually stay away from such things. I retract my endorsements of such procedures.

In fact, I did not feel any difference in my body after undergoing an ozone treatment.

I feel much better after a session at the gym. I will inform the operators to remove my so-called “promotion” of their business.

Reen Rahim, actress

I did the ozone treatment thinking that it was merely the modern way of doing bekam (skin suction treatment).

I don’t know the risks associated with it or whether the operators are running foul of the law. My advice to the public is not to take testimonials at face value, but carry out your own research so you can make an informed decision.

At the same time, I hope the authorities will make it clear and remove things that consumers seek, which are not supposed to be easily available.

Zizan Razak, comedian, host, actor

To tell you the truth, although the video and images implied that I was undergoing a procedure, I did not have the courage to do it because just a few days earlier, I learned that someone with kidney illness underwent ozone treatment and died soon after.

What happened was, I did not think it through when helping a friend (to promote her business). I agreed to only have the tubes plastered on my arms.

To my fans, please ignore my so-called “testimonials” on the Vitamin injection and ozone treatment.

Do check on the safety and approval of the products before you even think of using them.

Don’t take things for granted as the repercussions can be dire. Protect your body and life... don’t risk them by using dubious products.

Julia Ziegler, actress and model, who is getting married today

God have mercy... I had no idea of the health risks.

The promoters of these illicit beauty injections, including the one that I went to, had convinced me to sign up for a RM1,000 Vitamin C injection package.

I didn’t know that it was banned.

I even went for the so-called ozone therapy, which they claimed would help with the rashes I was suffering from then. It didn’t do anything for me. That beauty parlour should be reined in.

I have sworn off these procedures and will demand that they take down my pictures, which they are using to promote their products, as I do not want to be associated with encouraging people to put their health at risk.

Ashraf Muslim, actor, host

That so-called endorsement was a one-off thing.

I heard all the concerns and negative stories involving ozone therapy, and I admit that I was an uninformed user. The last thing I want is for the public to suffer health complications.

But at the same time, I am sure there are plenty of people like me, especially when this kind of treatment is being offered at so many outlets. And yet, we have not heard of action being taken against the operators.

This is not like the halal issue, for example, where you see immediate raids being mounted. I thought the fact that these operators are allowed to do it means it has been sanctioned by the authorities.

I apologise for my ignorance, but at the same time, I appeal to the authorities to act accordingly.

Ika Nabila, actress, singer

I became hypoglycaemic in the middle of my ozone therapy.

I remember feeling terrified as my blood was drained and I was shivering. All I could do was ask them to give me something sweet, so they stuffed a piece of chocolate into my mouth. They convinced me that there would be a doctor hooking me up to the machine. But that wasn’t the case. There was no prepping, no checking of my blood sugar or even heart rate.

They just stuck the needle up my arm.

I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, what more if the Health Ministry does not even endorse it. In fact, later, they arbitrarily used my image for promotion. I apologise if it seemed as if I was encouraging the procedure. I don’t want anything bad to happen to anyone.

Uqasha Senrose, actress

I will never ask my fans to put themselves through any health risks by going for unsanctioned or dubious beauty treatments.

Yes, I had been paid to promote the ozone treatment. It was a one-off thing that I did. Personally, I feel that we should embrace and be grateful for what God has given to us. Nothing beats leading a healthy lifestyle.

‘Be careful when signing deals’

CELEBRITIES endorsing illicit and harmful products and services have been advised to stop doing so and practise caution when sealing deals.

Malaysian Artistes’ Association (Karyawan) president Datuk Freddie Fernandez said they must know not only the consequences of their actions, but also the influence they have on their fans.

“My advice to them is to be careful before agreeing to become a product ambassador or lending publicity.

“They need to carry out due diligence, which includes checking the product’s status with the authorities.

“For example, in the case of beauty and health products, checks should be made with the Health Ministry,” he told the New Sunday Times’ Special Probes Team.

Karyawan, he said, was willing to assist them in the process.

This, Fernandez added, would ensure that the celebrities did not fall into the trap of promoting illicit and hazardous products and services, which could expose them to legal action.

“Artistes should also not expose themselves to health risks by using dubious products and services.

“This is not only about painting a bad image, but also the legal repercussions that they could face.”

Persatuan Seniman Malaysia president Rozaidi Abdul Jamil, fondly known as Zed Zaidi, said artistes should make sure proper agreements were drawn up before allowing themselves to be used in any promotional material.

“They must observe the procedures and make sure the company they are endorsing is legitimate. And, if it involves beauty products, they need to check with the authorities.”

Rozaidi also pointed out that Seniman was aware of cases where images and footage of celebrities were used without their consent.

“There are those who take advantage of artistes visiting their premises and use the images to promote their business. This is not right, more so when the products and services are not sanctioned by the law. It will tarnish the artistes’ reputation.”