KUALA LUMPUR: The government is committed to ensuring the welfare of veteran artistes is consistently protected and supported, Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil said.

He said several initiatives to support veteran artistes are being implemented by agencies under the Communications Ministry, such as the National Film Development Corporation Malaysia (Finas) and Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM), adding that these efforts aim to assist this group and provide opportunities for those wishing to return to the industry.

“The Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) and the government are very concerned and attentive to their welfare. These veterans have significantly contributed to developing our country’s culture... we will continue our efforts, Insya-Allah.

“I want to see more opportunities extended to many others, so we will explore sustainable ways to continue supporting them. We should not just remember and be concerned about our veterans only during their golden years,” he said.

He told newsmen this while visiting and presenting a keyboard to renowned 80s composer and musician Roslan Ariffin Jamil, 62, better known as Ross Ariffin, at his home at the People’s Housing Project (PPR) in Kampung Muhibbah here today.

Also present were Broadcasting director-general Datuk Suhaimi Sulaiman and RTM music director Datuk Mokhzani Ismail.

On the donation, Fahmi expressed hope that it would reignite Ross Ariffin’s passion and help his recovery to continue contributing to the Malaysian music industry.

He said Ross Ariffin had also expressed a desire to become active in music composition once again.

“I have also suggested to Ross to use social media and offer music classes to children in this PPR. I see this as a positive step and hope it will him strengthen ties with the local community,” he said.

Recently, Ross Ariffin’s heart-wrenching story went viral on social media, revealing that he had been homeless for over three years, which drew widespread attention.

Ross Ariffin, who once performed as a violinist in a London orchestra and was active as a sessionist, is a renowned composer known for composing songs for prominent local artistes such as Datuk Seri Siti Nurhaliza, Datuk Aishah, Jaclyn Victor and Fauziah Latiff.