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Yesterday (10th Jan), a special fanmeeting was held for B1A4 fans as the K-Pop idol boy group was in town. B1A4 (비원에이포) is a South Korean group under the management of WM Entertainment. The group debuted in 2011 with the single “O.K” after their first introduction to the public through a webtoon. They have since released 2 studio albums, 5 EPs, and various singles in South Korea.

The B1A4 “Let’s Fly” fanmeeting was presented by Acer Malaysia and TGM Events.

B1A4

According to TGM Events’ Facebook page:

TGM Events is a global concert production house headquartered in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia and Los Angeles, CA. The team behind this production house is as diverse as their locations with an international team that hails from Dallas, Texas to Manila, Philippines.

Tickets for the were going from between RM199 – RM799. The RM799 ticket, which was an “Acer VVIP Package”, included a hi-touch and free Acer liquid jade smartphone and an opportunity to win a goodnight call from B1A4 – which was innocent enough. However, the innocence soon “unravelled” during the event itself, held at KL Live in Kuala Lumpur.

Media outlet Sukan Star TV’s Facebook page uploaded a 3 minute odd video titled, “Perempuan melayu dicabul atas pentas oleh mat kpop semalam”, suggesting that Malay girls were “molested” on stage by the idols. With a title like that, it quickly gained traction and by now, it has gone viral. In 9 hours, the video was viewed more than a million times and counting.

In case you missed it, here:

 

As seen in the video above, some of the B1A4 members were seen hugging and kissing a few tudung-clad Malay girls on stage. There’s even a shot of one B1A4 member hugging a girl from behind but here’s the thing though, she hugged him again after that voluntarily.

How did the fans end up on stage with the idols, you ask? According to one of our team members who was present at the fan meeting, the event people organised a game which required fans to leave questions on a memo board. After which, the B1A4 members themselves picked a question at random each and the fans who wrote the questions will get to go up on stage. Which meant that at that point, even the organisers had no idea which fan, tudung-clad or not, will get to go on stage.

B1A4 BARO KL Live Malaysia

Having said that, despite the obvious willingness of the tudung-clad B1A4 fans (as documented), both the group and the K-Pop genre has come under fire since the controversial video emerged. Netizens are far from pleased. In fact, they’re raging mad, throwing in comments reflecting anger and shame.

One user said, “I can’t even bear to watch this video till the end. Such a pity to watch the piece of clothing in which is meant to protect one’s decency molested. In my opinion, maybe the piece of clothing is worth more than the wearer. As a Muslim, I feel so insulted watching this video.” Another commented, “I blame the girls themselves. Where do you put your pride as a Muslim girl.”

Our very own Minister of Youth and Sports, Khairy Jamaluddin also took to Twitter to say:

Translation:

A lot is being said about K-Pop. I hope Malaysian girls will return to men who are tall, dark, & handsome. Not pale, skinny, & pretty. Those aren’t real men.

So really, who’s to blame here?

B1A4 members Jinyoung, CNU, Sandeul, Baro, and Gongchan, who have only been to Malaysia a handful of times to date (one of which was for the 27th Golden Disk Awards, held in Sepang) for their fan service? Was it the fault of B1A4’s Korean manager for not properly briefing the idols prior to the event on the different sets of religious beliefs in Malaysia? Or the organisers for planning games that would somewhat encourage that kind of contact between the idols and their fans on stage?

You decide.

UPDATE (9:04pm, 11th Jan):

Organiser TGM Events has released an official statement via their Facebook page which spoke volumes for their sense of responsibility and we applaud them for addressing the issue.

Read it here:

[OFFICIAL ORGANIZER STATEMENT]

RE: B1A4 SPECIAL FANMEETING IN KUALA LUMPUR

We have been made aware of the attention that certain parts of the programme of the aforementioned event have been getting from certain media.

As an events organizer, we feel that it is our responsibility to clarify in explanation on the events that occurred out of respect to B1A4, their management and most of all, the BANAs who are the fans of B1A4.

1. Fans were selected at random, based on questions that they posted on a message board with only their first name. The artist, artist management and organizer did not know who the selected fans were until they were brought on stage.

2. It is not part of standard protocol that KPOP artists would get up close and personal with fans. However, as this was a specialized fan meeting event, the programme was tailored towards fan engagement and interactivity. Before the event in question took place, the MC instructed the fans to not touch or get too close to the members of the group. Upon revealing of the parody clip to be acted out,the group members asked and clarified with the selected fans if they were uncomfortable with the activity. However, the fans gave consent on stage, in front of a live audience.

3. As a company run primarily by women, we do not and never will condone molestation or sexual harassment as alleged by the media outlet. The terminology used was taken out of context and it is extremely disappointing to us to witness an act of such irresponsible journalism.

4. We do not discriminate against any fan based on their race and religion. Therefore, our programmes are tailored to the preferences of our general target audience. It is not within our authority or jurisdiction to restrict fans from activties that they willingly partake in.

5. We do not condone online harassment. Therefore, we absolutely will not release any information on the fans involved. We believe in the protection of their privacy and their physical and psychological wellbeing.

We apologize in all sincerity for the problems caused to the artist and their fans caused by these reports. In future events, we will take into consideration the cultural and religious implications of the interaction between fans and artists.

More pictures from B1A4’s fanmeeting event here.

  • Gordon Fucking Ramsay

    Can you really blame the idols? Because the girls seem so happy about it.

  • 1Malaysian

    You mean tall, dark, handsome ? Ya lah. Transformation. Transform from hugging trees to no hugging at all.

  • memememe

    They feel ashamed and embarrassed when watching that video. I feel ashamed and embarrassed reading the comments.

  • Fa~teen

    I think the term ‘molested’ is too over-the-top. The journalist shouldn’t be using such term carelessly. Honestly, K-pop star wouldn’t know about this girls religious restrictions. And the girls didn’t act in an appropriate manners as well. I just hope other Muslim Kpop fans should learn from their mistakes. They may thought that it is only once in a lifetime experience, but I think God wants to remind them and other Kpop fans that He is always watching..

  • Heidi Lyon

    I woke up this morning to find hypocrisy has once again reared it’s ugly head and is now aiming at my boys, B1A4. Being old enough to understand why injustice exists, I’m also old enough to know how to fight back. Not with physical action, as that is not what is needed, but with words and support. Thank you, TGM Events, for your wonderfully worded official response, and for helping to bring B1A4 to Malaysia. Though I’m in the US, many friends who are in KL and Malaysia were able to finally meet the boys and will never forget it.

    As to those who started this flame… let me make one thing clear. The person who posted the video originally, and brought into question the morals of the women on stage receiving the hugs and forehead kiss, what was your intended purpose? It surely wasn’t to show how strong your religious feelings were. As you were at the fan meeting, it appears you are a fan. Was it jealousy that motivated your hate-filled post? Did you not perceive how this verbal cyber-bullying could effect the lives of more than just you? Quite likely, you’re not even old enough to understand what the full impact of your actions would be. This doesn’t excuse what you did, but it allows me to simply ask that you refrain from this type of hateful actions in the future, reflect on what your momentary lapse of reason has caused for those boys whom you paid money to see and support.

    To the media outlets, religious leaders, zealots, and others who have immediately jumped on the “let’s hate” wagon, I will have a much harder time forgiving you. As is typical with so many, you simply took a snippet of a much larger issue and ran with it. Why? Sensationalism? To get more readers for your media? To gain more active followers for your church? To grab that 15 seconds of fame you desire? No one stopped to ask how and why it happened, or just ignored the facts for your own purposes.

    I don’t need to summarize what happened, TGM Events did it very nicely, so I’ll simply state that your actions are beyond acceptable. To the media, this is completely irresponsible reporting. NEVER accuse, or even mention the word molestation, without facts to support the issue. This was a case of fan service, no more so affectionate than friends. To the religious leaders using this as an “example” and blaming B1A4, or even the girls, please remember you are a religious LEADER. What you say and do effects hundreds, or thousands, of people. Do you really want to spread a hate-filled message? Isn’t peace a part of your religion?

    As a BANA, and someone who loves these boys like a mom, it hurts me to see them suffer when all they wanted to do was make their fans happy. It is a shame that both they, and possibly fans in Malaysia, will suffer from attacks carried out without much thought, credibility, or real purpose.

    • Gordon Fucking Ramsay

      Spot on, mate. Greatly written.

      • Heidi Lyon

        Thank you 🙂 I hope it gets the message across to those that need to see it!

  • malaysian news sucks

    they did not molested those girls. hugging a girl that willingly to be hug is not called molesting. kissing girl forehead that willingly to be kissed is not molesting too. open your mind idiots. and that minister of yours is not an adult but an idiot. He’s insulting human. well you never know there a malaysian who are pretty too. stop judging people. youre not god to judge people. so what if those girls end up marrying a korean guy like you guys always said on your freaking malaysian drama… “kalau jodih tak kan ke mana” well those are shit now. look at those girls do they look like their being molest? do they? they look happy to be. idiots…

  • Me

    It was obviously the girls fault. A lot of Korean doesn’t know about Islam so they just did what they always did to their fans. I’m a muslim and i know the restriction in our religion. What those girls did on stage was totally opposite from what our religion’s restriction.

    In case those girls read I need to tell you this
    WEARING A HIJAB DOESN’T MEAN YOU ARE COMPLETELY FOLLOWING ISLAM’S RULES. YOU SHOULD ALSO MIND YOUR MANNER!!!!

  • Wildheart888

    “So really, who’s to blame here?…You decide.” Seriously?? Come on guys, stop trying to blame it on people and raging a needless war!!! It’s NOBODY’S fault alright? Nobody meant to do any harm, they don’t deserve to have such hurtful comments thrown at them!! B1A4’s getting all this bashing because they only wanted to make their fans happy, and the girls are getting so much hate like honestly, is this what society has become??

    Please stop the hate, I’m sure that both B1A4 and the girls have learned and will do better next time – careless journalism and thoughtless hate comments won’t make anything better.

    B1A4 are all gentlemen and have one of the most well-behaved/mannered and respectful fandoms, it’s just too sad to hear that they’re being tainted by this…Hope everything works out okay!!

    B1A4 Fighting!! <3

    ~A BANA forever

  • No hate towards B1A4 and the girls though. Let’s be open-minded and just stop bashing others. 😉

    1) The girls should know what should do and not. I’m a Muslim and listens to KMusic too, but I’m trying my best not to fangirling over the K-Idols too much, I listened to KMusic and appreciate it like I did to English songs, Arabic songs and much more. I mean, you girls wear the hijab, you could just say to the boys, no hugging and such. It’s not that the boys are so ‘stupid’ (I’m sorry to use that word) to understand what you want. I hope all of us, including me, myself will learn a lesson from this.

    2) I don’t know whether B1A4 boys knew that Malaysia is a Muslim country. I assume that they didn’t know because of their tight schedules, ok, fine. I can understand B1A4 boys perfectly,having tight schedule. That leaves their manager or anybody to remind them things that they should and should not do in Muslim country. At least, remind them that Malaysia is a Muslim country. (note: I’m not being sarcastic, I’m truly understand them…)

    But, I’m giving my thumbs up to TGM for quickly addressing to this issue. This issue is really serious and they made a quick action on that.

    I’m not surprised with this kind of scene happening in Malaysia, but I’m surprised why all of sudden it went ‘BAAAMMMM!’, like we didn’t see in everyday life. Just because they are Korean, specifically KPOP stars, and this became a hit. Oh, the ones that showed on the televisions everyday, the ones in the movies, isn’t that similar to this? This became a ‘one-hit wonder’ just because it involves KPOP.

    • I love healthy discussion points like yours 🙂 Kudos to you.

  • leehyoribackwards’sleehyori

    can you freaking translate the tweet too? -.-

    • “A lot is being said about K-Pop. I hope Malaysian girls will return to men who are tall, dark, & handsome. Not pale, skinny, & pretty. Those aren’t real men.”

  • Kuronuma Sawako

    I don’t want to start a fight, but in my opinion I blame the girls. Most of them look like they are at an age where they are adults. But here’s the main point. All of those girls are Muslim. And in Islam, such an action that was done by the girls brings shame upon all Muslims especially muslim women. In my opinion, it cannot be forgiven for them to willingly accept such a gesture from a man that she is not married or related to. For those who think that what they did most probably do not fully understand Islam. The whole purpose of wearing a hijab is to cover a women’s beauty so it does not cause men that are around her to do or have the urge to do unsightly things to her. It is also a symbol of a women’s pride. The way that a muslim women covers herself shows how much she values her pride. I can forgive the B1A4 members because they obviously do not understand the concept of Islam.

    • Yes, I totally agree with you.

    • saaidah

      I totally agree with you. It is not a wrong thing for the girls to like them but the girls should know their limits as a muslim girls. They could have told the members of the group for not touching them or else but instead they are willingly to accept any kind of skinships from them.

  • Lucky Joo

    I’ve read an article about the girl “molested” by B1A4..Hmmm, it’s just a fanservice..B1A4 Fighting!!

  • b2uty

    i still want BEAST come to MALAYSIA. I hope they not afraid by this accident.