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Friday, August 03, 2007

NUMMS and the culture of Ban Everything...

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The latest exploit of the Ban Everything movement - hot on the heels of PPIM asking for Evan Almighty to be banned - is the National Union of Malaysian Muslim Students (NUMMS), calling for the Gwen Stefani concert to be axed.

Maxis Communications, the concert organizer, has today indicated that the concert will go on as scheduled, and that Stefani has agreed to tone down her show, as reported in Malaysiakini today.

Image hosting by PhotobucketStefani concert to go ahead (via Malaysiakini)

You know, if Walski were Gwen Stefani, he'd just ditch KL off the concert tour list altogether. In the name of artistic integrity. No Doubt about it (pun intended).
(KL - the world's concert avoidance capital, and more, in the full post)

It's not that Walski's a fan of Gwen Stefani or anything like that. Not exactly his cup of tea musically. But KL is probably one venue that Walski's sure many big-name artistes don't even bother to consider during their Asia tour planning. Naturally, the big fuss about Gwen performing in KL has made the international entertainment news sites.

Consider the following, and you'll probably understand why most acts probably avoid KL like the plague (hat-tip to Metroblogging Kuala Lumpur):

In light of the recent to-do, Malaysia's Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry said that officers will be on hand to enforce the country's code of cultural ethics—a female artist must be covered from the top of her chest to her knees; no jumping, shouting, hugging or kissing onstage; no clothing depicting offensive messages or images (drugs, sex, etc.); and no throwing things at the audience.
(source: E! Online News)

What? No jumping? No shouting? Walski almost expected to find no loud singing, excessive dancing and entertainment included. And yeah, what a fun concert it's gonna be with the Cultural Police on hand, eh?

Image hosting by PhotobucketIncidentally, another popular rock group, Wu Bai and China Blue (whom Walski actually likes a lot - don't ask why, but he does) will also be performing in August. Now, going strictly by the book, how could a rock band (no shouting, no jumping, no nothing - remember?) possibly be allowed? Walski's not suggesting that they be banned, of course. But really... one set of rules for female performers, and another set for males?

Hang on.... whap to the head... of course, there'll be double-standards along sexual lines... this is Malaysia, after all...

And why doesn't NUMMS protest against the Wu Bai concert? Why the selective targeting? The answer, of course, is because of the perception that the Wu Bai concert would only attract a non-Muslim audience, whose morality is probably already decayed beyond help...

Yup... that's how it works, boys and girls, anything that is perceived to even remotely appeal to Muslims will come under such close scrutiny - all kinds of restrictions and no-no's. Believe it or not, Indonesia is probably a lot more liberal and sensible when it comes to these things.

Here's a true story - some years ago, Walski and Lord Panda attended the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert in Singapore... the band, in welcoming the audience, made special mention to fans attending the concert from Malaysia... with Flea saying, "Yeah, we know... we know..." upon hearing the boos when Malaysia was mentioned.

RHCP, Depeche Mode, The Cure... all Walski's faves, and all deciding to skip Malaysia. Makes you wonder why, doesn't it? In fact, the last half-way decent show that came to Malaysian shores (by Walski's reckoning) was probably Alanis Morissette in Stadium Negara back in the 90's sometime... oh, and Sting around the same general timeframe. Well, thanks to folks like NUMMS (at one time, Walski remembers them protesting even Sheila Majid), and the ultra-conservative minds in the Government, Malaysians have to travel either to Singapore, Bangkok or Jakarta to see their favorite big-name artistes, with some exceptions from time to time. Few exceptions, and far between... and if the likes of NUMMS get their way, probably fewer and further between in the future.

Oh, speaking of NUMMS(kulls) - do visit their website. They have proudly placed their press release and the press they got from Reuters. Betcha they're so pleased with themselves... proudly showing the world, once again, how fucked up a place Malaysia can be.

When you're there, click on their forum to find out what it's full of - porn links. Walski kids you not... Okay, okay, they've probably been spammed with all these links (several thousand entries worth)... but considering that these are supposedly the moral guardians and saviors of the Malay/Muslim youth, one would think that they'd have the sense to monitor their forum more closely. Here's a screenshot, if you don't believe Walski.

Image hosting by PhotobucketFor loads of porn links, visit the NUMMS forum
(click on the image above for a larger verion)

And it's not even good porn... simply links to numerous spam pages... spam leading to more spam (okay... let's not get into the Monty Python spam thingy now... heh heh). Ironic that the very folks complaining about Gwen Stefani contributing towards the "decay of morality" have some pretty decadent stuff on their own website...

But what's a day in the life of Malaysia, without the standard quota of double-standards, hypocrisy and a touch of irony, eh?