Arts, Live, International Festivals and Events Association (ALIFE), has called on for better protection for the festivals and live events industry.
“The festivals and live events industry needs to be protected from politics. Too many times politicians use events to forward their agenda. It affects the livelihood of the industry and paints a negative picture for Malaysia.” ALIFE has said in a statement posted on its official Facebook page.
ALIFE, a non-profit organisation representing companies managing, presenting and promoting live events in Malaysia issued the statement in response to the recent cancellation of the The Better Beer Festival by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) due to political sensitivities surrounding the event.
“Only Recently Our PM have told President Trump that Malaysia is a moderate and progressive Islamic country. So the government agency needs to work in line with our PM ‘s moderate vision.” its statement continued.
The cancellation had received backlash many quarters, who said City Hall was bowing to political and religious pressure.
The cancellation comes a week after Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) central committee member Dr Riduan Mohd Nor spoke out against the event claiming that it would turn Kuala Lumpur into the “largest vice centre in Asia”.
“DBKL states that due to political sensitivity, the event is not given a permit. A permit was given for the event last year and it proceeded with no issues, protest or crime. DBKL should be more independent and make a decision on what’s best for all Malaysians and for the city. The inconsistency of issuing permits provide a very volatile environment for the industry. We need to keep guessing what can be approved and what will be rejected. Pulling the plug close to the event day sheds a bad light for the council, it’s stakeholders, the image of KL City and tourism. And it takes just one politician who wants to push their agenda, the event will be cancelled.” its statement continued.
Three days after DBKL’s cancellation, Inspector-General of police (IGP) Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said the festival was not allowed to go on because the police have security concerns involving militants who were planning to sabotage the event.
The annual festival which has been held for five years without any incident was slated to be held at the Publika shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur on October 6 and 7. It was supposed to have featured 250 different craft beers from 43 breweries worldwide with an anticipated turnout of 6,000 people this year.