‘Malay power’ bands: Freedom of expression or Sedition Act?

A ‘Malay power’ music festival was set to be held at Publika Shopping Gallery, Kuala Lumpur on April 6. The event was named “Death to the Antifa Fest” and would be featuring bands from the country’s notorious Malay power scene such as Xenophobia, Spiderwar and Total Distrust. There was even a poster made for the music fest.
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Publika’s owner, UEM Sunrise, quickly dismissed the event, stating that they were unaware of such event and will return the deposit to the event organizer.
As an aftermath, the event received strong response through multiple media platforms across the web, like LowYat Forum, Reddit, and especially Twitter. The uproar from Twitter users made the push for the cancellation of the concert. Netizens deemed it unacceptable while some weren’t surprised.
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When one of the band members were questioned about the concert, they simply replied: “Do we look like those who want to play there?” Apparently, the MalayMail claimed that Nazi punk bands consist of mostly poor Malay members who play in underground circuits like Chow Kit Road or Ampang.
The MalayMail also reported that the concert was a hoax, and unexpectedly stirred the self-professed “liberals” on Twitter. But the MalayMail added that cancelling the event seemed hypocritical, as Malaysians often preach about free speech.
On a similar note, another Malay power movement band was supposed to perform at Ipoh on April 13, known as “Rebellion Fest”. But the venue management pulled the plug not long after getting backlash from anti-racist netizens.
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Boot Axe, one of the bands supposed to perform in Ipoh, said they were concerned with keeping the Malay community pure all over the Malay Archipelago. The band claimed they could adopt the spirit of Nazism by taking extreme actions in response to any racial threats against the Malays.
Perhaps the timing of these events wasn’t right, especially after the terror attack at Christchurch. It is said that the agenda of the bands may be portrayed similarly with the attackers in Christchurch.