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Free Malaysia Today: New agency proposed to approve live performances

KUALA LUMPUR: The Arts, Live Festival and Events Association (ALIFE) today suggested setting up a comprehensive agency to approve live events organised in the country.

The move is aimed at avoiding last-minute cancellations and thereby financial wastage.

The Association’s secretary, Muhammad Iqbal Ameer, said such an agency would fall under the purview of the Central Agency for Application of Filming and Performance by Foreign Artiste, or PUSPAL.

“This is to ensure that live events such as concerts will not be cancelled at the very last minute,” he told reporters after a forum held by ALIFE today.

ALIFE acting president, Razlan Razali, said that event organisers are suffering huge financial losses due to the current process of permit applications.

“Last-minute event cancellations have happened one too many times with no factual basis or transparency. There is a lack of understanding of the industry by current decision-makers, and no proper engagement with the organisers,” said Razlan.

He said besides the financial aspect, ALIFE members have been left with a negative image.

On a larger scale, the Malaysian brand has also suffered in international circles.

Currently, PUSPAL, which is under the Communications and Multimedia Ministry handles foreign artistes’ performances.

Muhammad Iqbal said that to hold live events, organisers had to get approval from each stakeholder such as the police, the local council, and the immigration, customs and tourism departments — after PUSPAL gives its approval.

“If any one of them refuses the application, we would need to start all over again and re-submit our proposal.

“The current practice is very long and tedious. It takes months to get things done as event organisers need to go to each party to get their approval,” he said.

Muhammad Iqbal added that an agency of representatives was needed to fix the shortcomings in the current system.

The agency will comprise delegates from each relevant party, including one from ALIFE.

The idea is that once PUSPAL gives the green light regarding the artiste, stakeholders will sit together and address their concerns, if any.

“Once approved, (live events) cannot be cancelled,” he said.

He also said the Malaysian Islamic Development Department’s (Jakim) role on the board was strictly advisory.

“They can give their opinions involving Islamic matters but (they are) not decision-makers,” he said.

Muhammad Iqbal added that the Association had sent in their proposal for the agency but had yet to get any feedback from the Ministry.

Last month, Thirst 2015, organised by Future Sound Asia Sdn. Bhd, was cancelled at the eleventh hour by the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) when certain permits were suddenly revoked.

Among the reasons given were objections to the performance from members of the public and state assemblypersons.

Source from Free Malaysia Today.

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