Last month, BANGKIT political activist Eddy Casmady single-handedly launched a campaign against a local EDM festival, which eventually led to the event's permits getting revoked by local authorities
The KL Urban Music and Art Festival - dubbed Malaysia's Largest Local Music Festival" because of its fully homegrown line-up - was supposed to be held at the Sepang International Circuit on 2 April 2016.
It was later postponed to 16 April and rebranded as 'Homegrown Fest 2016', but the damage was done. Ultimately, the organisers were forced to cancel the event altogether.
Well, Eddy's at it again. His latest target - the Forever Summer Beach Festival, which is scheduled to be held at Surf Beach, Sunway Lagoon on 30 April and headlined by Australian trance vocalist Emma Hewitt.
Eddy claimed that the music festival is actually an alcohol fiesta because it is sponsored by two alcohol brands, adding that it's easier to get permits for such immoral events compared to small-time, roadside businesses
"How fantastic that as a country of Muslim majority, there is an alcohol party in the middle of a city where the majority are Malay Muslims.
"Asahi, a beer producer from Japan is the main sponsor while cider brand Sumersby (sic) is also sponsoring this event of extreme hedonism.
"Looks like in Selangor, alcohol festivals like these are revered, respected, and given permits so easily although they go against the moral values of a country that reinforces the backdrop of Islamic rule.
It’s so difficult to get a permit to do business by the roadside, but semi-nude and alcohol festivals are freely held in Selangor. Every week we hear of poor people in Selangor dealing with permit issues to do business on a small scale, but permits for alcohol festivals are given with a "smile" and easily approved," he wrote in a Facebook post dated 21 April 2016.
He also claimed that Western ideology as well as the festival's liberal and heretical nature will corrupt Malay youths, citing other religions to support his protest against the "alcohol festival"
"I'm willing to kerat jari (cut off my fingers) that those who attend the party are 90% Malay Muslims youths who are between 18 to 30 years of age. This is kerja halus (evil work) to ruin our anak bangsa (nation's children).
"Perhaps some may say that this statement of mine is not “open-minded” but indeed, Islam rejects any form of liberalism and heretical as well as ignorant practices that blatantly harm our own children.
"I challenge those who say this statement is ridiculous to present any Quran and Hadith postulates that state alcohol festivals like these are good for everyone.
"Let’s not follow the Western ideology that leads to the moral collapse of Malay youths, seeing as Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism also prohibits liberal acts that ruins our current generation," he wrote.
To further his agenda, he urged several figures of authority to maintain the dignity of Islam and safeguard the majority's interests, as "100% Malay and Bumiputera people are against the organisation of this program"
"Selangor Chief Minister Azmin Ali and the Selangor state government, please do not sleep on the job and only concern yourselves with political credit. Do your job to maintain the dignity of Islam. The dignity of Islam is not guarded by merely building million-dollar mosque domes.
"Subang Jaya Chief of Police, please be strict if you really want to maintain racial harmony and community in this area. 100% Malay and Bumiputera people are against the organisation of this program.
"To the YDP of Subang Jaya Municipal Council who is responsible for granting the permit to the organisers, my advice is this - don’t “kick aside” the interests of the majority in order to jaga hati (pacify) the minority," he wrote.
In addition, the police should expect to hear from Eddy soon, as he will be engaging an entourage to file a police report against the event
"As I am aware of my responsibility as a youth representative, a police report will also be made as soon as possible with the Kelana Jaya UMNO Youth, Selangor PAS, and 10 NGOs who are also protesting against this program," he wrote.
Fortunately for the organisers, they will not be fighting against Eddy Casmady and co. alone.
On 23 April, ALIFE - advocate of live arts and entertainment events - released a public statement condemning the "victimisation of live events driven by political agendas", warning that it will eventually damage the country's image as a whole
"ALIFE, as an organisation that champions live events and the regulation of the industry, firmly objects to the victimisation of the live events driven by political agendas. The live events industry is part of the cityscape offering different experiences for a diverse community both local and international.
"Nonetheless, over the years, several politicians have targeted particular events to enhance their own political standing. We need to put a stop to events being used in this manner as it affects the industry in the long run, and may have negative consequences to Malaysia’s image as a whole.
"At ALIFE, we are heavily invested in carrying out the national objective of making Malaysia a successful country by 2020 - to become a diverse nation, make our cities highly liveable and vibrant, and to improve the image of our country," wrote the Arts, Live Festival and Events Association (ALIFE) in a Facebook post dated 25 April.
ALIFE also clarified that the organiser of the above event has fulfilled every requirement and received support and approval from relevant authorities
"The organiser of an upcoming event in Sunway Lagoon, a current target of political victimisation, has followed all requirements and have received support and approvals from all relevant authorities.
"Entry to the event is permitted only to patrons aged 18 years and above with restricted alcohol zones for non-Muslims’ access only.
"Malaysia is a country that is made up of different races and religion, and ALIFE firmly believes that it should be up to the individual to decide the type of entertainment they want to consume, as long as it is not against the federal laws of the country," said ALIFE's statement.
"We urge that the authorities in Selangor, including YAB Dato’ Seri Azmin Ali will look into the matter objectively and not fall to pressure from parties with personal agendas."
To prove their point that live events are a boon to the country's economy, ALIFE wrote, "We hope YAB will see the bigger picture to allow events take place which will set Malaysia as a welcoming country, improve tourists receipts and spending which will in turn contribute to the overall economy.
"Live events are statistically proven to improve the revenue streams of hotels, travel companies, transport operators, food & beverage outlets and many other relevant industries as it brings in millions in tourist income."
In the meantime, Forever Summer Beach Festival will proceed as scheduled