KUALA LUMPUR: Actor Khaeryll Benjamin Ibrahim or better known as Benjy has died in a hospital in Medan, Indonesia this morning. He was 42.
The son of the late actress Azean Irdawaty had long suffered from asthma and was recently hospitalised.
It was reported earlier that Benjy was facing various challenges while being imprisoned in Indonesia for a drug offence.
Secretary General of the Malaysian Association of Artists or Seniman, Mohd Hafiz Mohd Nafiah who had visited Benjy in April 2019, noted that the once-promising actor desperately needed support both financially and morally, as reported by Astro AWANI.
For instance, due to his asthma, Benjy had to buy inhaler costing about RM300 each as this medication was not readily made available by the Indonesian prison authority for the inmates.
The outbreak of Covid-19 meant that Seniman’s representatives could not visit Benjy at the Tanjung Gusta Prison, Medan.
However, they still communicated with each other either through phone calls or WhatsApp.
“Often, the communication between me and him was more about health problems and the need for money to cover the cost of his medicines,” he said.
During his visit, Mohd Hafiz voiced his concern about Benjy’s mental health.
“In terms of mental health, I can say he was quite depressed.
“Prisons there are very different when compared to the facilities, comfort, treatment and so on in Malaysia,” he said.
Now that he has passed on, in a way, it means that Benjy is freed from all the sufferings that befall him.
His father Khairil Anwar Zainal Mukhtar Rashidi confirmed the news of his death in a tweet today.
Khairil Anwar who is recuperating from a stroke also said that his son would be buried in Medan, adding that the news was relayed to him by a phone call from Benjy’s friend
In 2017, Benjy was sentenced to 11 years’ jail in Indonesia for attempting to smuggle syabu into the country.
Among his best known films are Baginda directed by Aziz M. Osman in 1997 and Gangsterock Kasi Sengat directed by Soffi Jikan in 2015, while his best known television dramas and series include Astana Idaman, Kerana Cintaku Saerah and Kasih Suci.