KUALA LUMPUR: An association representing concert organisers and entertainment industry players today proposed a solution to streamline the current permit application and approval process for concerts and live events.
The solution by the Arts, Live, International Festivals and Events Association (ALIFE) is to set up a one-stop centre comprised of relevant authorities – Arts and Culture Ministry, the police, customs department, immigration department, income tax department, local councils, tourism officials and ALIFE representative – that will each bear specific responsibilities.
The proposed solution is to ensure that event organisers are actively involved in the decision-making process and to force promoters to abide by the proper standard operating procedures throughout an event.
ALIFE's acting president, Datuk Razlan Razali, said event organisers are suffering huge financial losses due to the current process of the permit application system in Malaysia.
"Last minute cancellations in Malaysia have happened one too many times with no factual basis, transparency, lack of understanding of the industry by current decision makers, and proper engagement with the organisers.
"As a result, our members have been left with a negative public image, huge financial losses and on a bigger perspective, the perception of the Malaysia brand internationally has suffered," he said.
ALIFE's proposed solution to streamline the current permit application process for concerts and live events.
In Malaysia, concert organisers are required to go through a multi-step approval process to host an event from various government bodies including Puspal (Central Agency for Application of Filming and Performance by Foreign Artiste) which is the central organisation for permit application process for concert organisers, the police, Customs, Immigration, and the local city council.
But currently, each department or government body can at anytime withdraw support of revoke a permit for an event after approvals have been granted.
Over the past two years, Malaysia has seen a climb in the eleventh hour concert cancellations with internationally renowned artists such as Erykah Badu, Kesha, Lamb of God, due to protests raised by certain groups.
Most recently, the "Thirst 2015: We Are All Stardust" event also had its permits revoked a day before the actual show was to take place on April 25.
My Performing Arts Agency founder and director, Izan Satrina Mohd Sallehudin, who is also an ALIFE panel member, said Puspal as a one-stop centre is not working.
"They are not centralised. Where is the transparency and accountability?" she said, adding that there is no clarity in Puspal's role.
Livescape Group CEO and ALIFE secretary, Muhammad Iqbal Ameer, said the government is expecting the creative content industry to contribute a RM30 billion revenue to Malaysia's economy by 2020, but with major events being constantly cancelled, the target is mathematically unachievable.
He said major events are high-income generators, but industry players are being hit hard with current on-the-ground implementations.
The industry players were speaking at an event here where the proposed solution by ALIFE was unveiled to the public.
ALIFE is a non-profit body founded in May 2014 to represent companies which conceive, create, develop, manage, present and promote live events.