Malaysian actress Maya Karin speaks out on overworking in the local film industry

Malaysian actress Maya Karin speaks out on overworking in the local film industry

KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 — Members of a film production crew or even its star-studded line-up and ensemble cast having to clock in up to 13 hours of working — sometimes without extra pay — is not an alien issue in Malaysia.

Award-winning Malaysian actress Maya Karin, 44, told Malay Mail that it is a long-standing problem that has plagued the local filming industry.

“It has been like this for many years, especially when you don’t have a proper union that can set appropriate working hours whether it’s for crews or actors.

“When I was shooting for a local film in Australia, (the working hours) are only for eight hours and it’s considered overtime for the Australian crew if it’s after eight hours.


“If they were working for more than eight hours, they would get double or triple pay but not here.”

Apart from the extra hours, she expressed her disappointment with the bare minimum when it comes to meals served on set.

“Sometimes it’s just rice with a piece of chicken and two carrots. How was the crew supposed to work with a meal like that?


“It’s a difficult situation and yes, some producers would say they are working within the limits of their budgets and there’s nothing they can do but I really have to say that you could do better.

“You could absolutely do better. Producers and directors should be a lot more mindful of the hours that they demand of these people,” Maya said.

She added that the situation is a lot worse for production crew who had to do most of the heavy lifting and can’t really speak up on their situation in fear of being replaced.

Maya also pointed out that the issue of overworking can be curbed by having a well-organised production team.

This is following her experience shooting for her upcoming heist film The Experts, produced by Astro Shaw and BlackFlag Production where Maya was surprised by their well-planned schedule.

“I was so pleasantly surprised that both producer and director had everything well planned from the beginning up to the point where they already know what kind of shots for the scenes they want.

“Although the production took the normal four to five weeks of shooting, the hours were so friendly and there was no such thing as a 24-hour shoot and I really appreciate that.”

The Experts will hit cinemas nationwide this May 23 with its star-studded lineup including Datuk Aaron Aziz, Remy Ishak, Tony Eusoff, Hasnul Rahmat, Wan Hanafi Su and Mimi Lana.

The film is slated for release by the end of this year.