Malaysia live venue Merdekarya has called upon patrons to support a fundraiser following arrests of their staff that resulted in legal fees and lost income.
The Kuala Lumpur venue issued a statement announcing the fundraiser on Tuesday (September 1). Merdekarya had held a first fundraiser earlier in May in a bid to keep the business afloat after the coronavirus pandemic hit the industry.
In the statement, the venue says “after early indications… that things were going according to plan”, its team was arrested for “employing migrant workers without the relevant permits”.
The statement added, “Of this, we are guilty as charged but unremorseful, our lives having been significantly enriched with them being a part of it all these years.”
Merdekarya’s legal fees cost RM25,000, the statement said, and the venue lost over RM10,000 worth of income over the six-week legal ordeal.
Merdekarya is now calling upon its patrons to visit the bar for nights of live music, drinks and grub, to help them recoup the legal costs and lost income. Per the post, 22 musicians have agreed to perform at Merdekarya’s Live Bar through the month, with free entry for all patrons. These artists include Azmyl Yunor, Sam Lopez (Lost Spaces), Sound of Kites, Shh…Diam! and Ally Lew.
Read Merdekarya’s complete statement below:
MINUM FOR MERDEKARYA (ONE MORE ROUND!)Dear Merdekaryans,This is a fundraiser. Yes, another one. Yes, we know we just…
The company has also announced six new tuak (palm wine) flavours – including cinnamon, lime zest and asamboi – in an attempt to draw in crowds for the fundraisers.
More information surrounding the fundraiser, live performances and table reservations can be found via the Merdekarya website. The venue notes that all enforced Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) regulations are in effect. “Please cooperate with the bar crew. We’d really rather not go to jail again,” urges the team.
In June, Merdekarya founder Brian Gomez told theSun that he was confident that the reception to the venue’s live events would be better than before lockdown measures, due to gig-goers being starved of live music experiences.
“The trick now is getting to that point,” he said. “What measures we take in order to survive, and to get to the point where live music is back. It is largely the uncertainty that is hurting us a lot. There is no way to plan and that’s why we need to assume the worst case scenario – that for 18 months there will be no live music.”