The annual Island Music Festival, which was supposed to happen from 12 to 14 October in Pulau Redang, has been cancelled by the Terengganu state government yesterday, 3 October
Held annually since 2013, Island Music Festival takes place on the beaches of Pulau Redang. This year's edition was set to be headlined by Malaysian acts like DJ Leng Yein & Leng Sean, Kaya The Band, Jumero, Jenni F, A-Kid, Bihzhu and more.
At the time of writing, ticket sales have been put on hold and the event's social media pages have been taken down.
PAS lawmakers revealed that the event was cancelled as it was deemed "immoral" and "unhealthy"
Ariffin Deraman, the state exco for tourism, culture and information technology said that the three-day two-night event should not go on because it is "immoral and goes against Eastern culture," at a weekly exco meeting, as reported by The Star.
He added that the event could lead to moral degradation and tarnish the image of the state government.
PAS also claims that the organisers did not have a permit to the hold the annual event
Although the Minister of Tourism and Culture gave the green-light for the event, the local officials did not.
“The state government decided to cancel the event as it did not adhere to prescribed guidelines and also because there were objections from the local community,” state exco for local government, housing, health and environment Alias Razak told Malay Mail.
Objections from the local community allegedly refer to netizens in a Facebook group getting riled up by a 30-second promotional video of the event that showcased half-naked women and other "immoral" activities. It is believed that they also demanded for the festival to be cancelled.
However, the organisers are still able to appeal and meet with the state government on the status of the event
According to The Star, a company official has said that they will meet with the state government to clarify any misconception of the event being "unhealthy". He added that there were never any plans to go against the guidelines or laws.
PAS lawmaker Ariffin Deraman stated that the appeal could be considered if the organisers adhere to the state government's terms. However, they do not have a permit to hold the event as of now.
On 2 October, the Terengganu Tourism Department released 11 guidelines that event organisers had to adhere to:
The guidelines states that public shows can only involve male performers. Female performers can only perform behind closed doors. Gender separation is required between performers and attendees but the rule does not apply to children's shows.
Another guideline mentions that shows are to be held after Isyak prayers (usually after 8pm), and end by midnight.