Last month, a big blow up happened over K-Pop idol boy group B1A4’s members hugging their female Muslim fans at a fanmeeting event because it saw a backlash from Islamic religious authorities. At the fanmeeting, organised by TGM Events in collaboration with Acer Malaysia, the event people organised a game which gave fans a chance to interact with the B1A4 members on stage.
Media outlet Sukan Star TV’s Facebook page later uploaded a 3 minute odd video sensationally titled, “Perempuan melayu dicabul atas pentas oleh mat kpop semalam”, suggesting that Malay girls were “molested” on stage by the idols. The video quickly gained traction and went viral, garnering more than a million views in less than a day. Needless to say, it went awry after that with PAS “fearing” that there was a “hidden agenda” behind the event as well as JAKIM (Malaysian Islamic Development Department) calling for JAWI to take action against the girls.
Truth be told, it’s a really long story but you may read about it here, if you’d like.
Fast forward to less than a month later, K-Pop fans, especially BIGBANG fans, are bursting at seams with excitement as 7th Feb (Saturday) will see the large-scale solo concert of BIGBANG member, Taeyang aka “2015 Taeyang World Tour Rise In Malaysia“.
We say this because the speed of which Taeyang’s concert (what would be his first solo concert in Malaysia) tickets have been snapped up is said to be simply phenomenal. In fact, as of last Wednesday, already 75% of the tickets were sold. And if that’s not enough, the event is estimated to cost about RM1.5 million and will involve some 200 people to monitor the stage effects and concert equipment.
That having said, TMI reported that Taeyang‘s concert has been met with resistance from several NGOs, including the Malaysian Islamic Youth Association (Pembina), which expressed disappointment that the authorities had not been stern in handling the K-Pop issue.
On the other hand, Malay rights group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA) has called for Taeyang’s concert to be postponed or cancelled until the organiser abided by the rules and regulations applicable to performances by foreign artistes. In a posting on ISMA’s website, the group’s vice-president Muhammad Uzair Izzat Amir Muhammad said last month’s incident should be a lesson to all parties to avoid a recurrence.
But Taeyang‘s concert organiser has reassured that the show will adopt some changes that had to be made following the outcry over B1A4 incident. The organiser told TMI, “Response has been very encouraging and the upcoming concert has not been affected by the previous incident.”
The organiser also said that they have not received any warning or notice from the religious authorities, and that JAWI had neither blocked nor imposed any conditions on the sale of tickets for the upcoming concert. There will, however, be some changes to the concert programme to avoid the singer’s interaction with fans, and some Muslim groups have already begun making statements against the concert.
“We have discussed with Taeyang and the dance crew on wearing the proper attire. There will also be no interactive sessions between fans and Taeyang, unlike previously. Serious attention has been given to the concert programme to make sure that a repeat of what happened last month does not occur,” said the organiser.
When asked about Taeyang’s concert,Jawi director Paimuzi Yahya merely said that JAWI had asked the organiser to follow the guidelines set out by JAKIM. JAKIM Director-general Datuk Othman Mustapha told TMI that they would not be carrying out any specific monitoring:
The guidelines have been set by the Central Agency for the Application of Filming and Performance by Foreign Artistes (Puspal), under the Communications and Multimedia Ministry. As long as the organiser follows the guidelines set by Puspal, it is sufficient as the agency is responsible for approving or rejecting concerts by foreign artistes. Jakim merely gives additional guidelines.
Taeyang is also scheduled to perform in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and China on this tour.