Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the entertainment industry has taken a hard-hit since the government disallowed live music events from taking place since March.
Live venue owners and musicians alike are currently pleading to the authorities to waive the entertainment license fees for next year as the current predicament is unlikely to resolve anytime soon.
Even though these type of shows have been disallowed to play for eight months now, entertainment outlets are still required to pay amounts of up to RM8,000 to renew their entertainment license fees (including taxes). Since it’s going to be a while before we get to see live music performances again, musicians and pub owners believe that it’s unreasonable to charge them for something they can’t do.
Musician Brian Gomez, who is the owner of Merdekarya, a live music venue in Petaling Jaya, took to his Facebook stating, “Now we find ourselves, after 8 long months of no entertainment, at Musim Pembaharuan Lesen (license renewal season). Would you be so kind as to explain to entertainment outlets how you have the gall to ask us to pay RM8000+ in entertainment license-renewal fees plus taxes, while at the same time disallowing entertainment?”
He went on to say that he doesn’t necessarily disagree with the ban even though live music is his main source of income and that most live venues have adhered to it. However, Gomez explained, “the fact remains is the ban that YOU have imposed on us, and yet you’re asking us to pay you RM8000+ for your permission for us to continue to NOT make a living.”
He added, “I’m asking you to waive the entertainment license fees and taxes for outlets in Selangor for 2021. It’s the logical thing to do. It’s the right thing to do.” Earlier in the post, Gomez mentioned that the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) has refused to return the RM10k license deposit paid by entertainment outlets as the process was “too complicated,” which makes it harder in general for business owners alike.
According to MalaysiaKini, Gomez is not the only one feeling this way. Keyboardist-vocalist Amizan Ariffin also agreed that the entertainment sector is in a bad shape and the entertainment fees need to be waived.
Moreover, Country group Os Pombos founding member, Jerry Singho also gave his two cents by adding, “Surely they have to waive the entertainment taxes for next year because most outlets hardly had any entertainment at all, which brings me to the point of ‘live’ music. I and thousands of musicians out there have not had it good at all.”
As of now, Brian Gomez has taken the initiative to create a petition to waive entertainment fees and taxes for 2021. Head over here to show your support.