THE live performances and concerts industry was taken aback with the recent guidelines for live entertainment issued by Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim). Most feedback on the guidelines was -‐ ‘unrealistic’, ‘damaging the industry’,‘knee‐jerk reaction’ and ‘not inclusive’.
The mentioned K‐POP B1A4 incident that took place was an unfortunate incident that had impacted the organiser and regretfully the three tudung-clad Malay fans. Case closed, hence stakeholders are perturbed why there are new rulings to flip the way and manner live event are being organised? Does the buck stop there or will this creep into the way sports activities are organised. Will we be seeing sports event in a different light where males and females sit separately and our national players tutup aurat during squash or badminton tournaments? How will this impact festivals, theatres, weddings, government event amongst others? Has contect on cinemas, tv, online been taken into consideration. Where do we draw the line? Who is overseeing this whole space?
Arts, Live Festival and Events Association (ALIFE) Presedent Datuk Razlan Razali said he was shocked as it would affect various life events if the guidelines by Jakim were enforced.
There are more than 2000 live events taking place in Malaysia in conjunction with the Year of Festival 2015. The government's vision versus what is happening or being implemented on ground is not in sync. There is a clear disconnect.
The arts, festivals, events are part of the live creative content that is geared towards contributing RM30billion to Malaysia' economy by 2020. Malaysia prides itself as a tolerant multiracial country, a gastronomical paradise, a shopping haven, more than just a thriving place to live, it also is a vibrant country to play in. Being host to world-class quality festivals, celebrations and events that has placed Malaysia in positive light in various foreign press and rankings, Malaysia is home to big acts like Taylors Swift, The Script, Jennifer Lopez, Mamma Mia, Chicago to GeorgeTown Festival, Tropfest SEA.
Malaysia is no 19th in Business Environment Rankings (2014), World Bank's 'Ease of doing business' (2014), Top 10 Travel destinations for 2014 by Lonely Planet; and Kuala Lumpur was ranked 80th most liveable city on EIU scale (2014) and 16th most liveable city for expats in Asia (2015). How do we continue to strengthen our rnakings when small waves of conflicting efforts are stumbling blocks to such efforts?
Whilst the industry is shocked and confused with the recent guidelines, ALIFE remains positive and hope that all stakeholders who have an ownership in this space be it content or tourism to approvals of events, both government and private, come together to have a dialogues pertaining to these matters immediately.