Malaysian music scene reacts to viral post saying gigs are for poor people

Members of Sekumpulan Orang Gila, Masdo!, Late Night Frequency and more have weighed in

A viral Twitter thread reportedly calling gigs “entertainment for the bottom 40 per cent” has been lambasted by Malaysian musicians and gig-goers.

A Twitter account named “Malaysia Most Virall” (sic) posted a video of gig-goers moshing to hardcore band Naratu at a festival recently with the caption, “How children of the B40 (bottom 40 per cent in the economic pyramid) entertain themselves. I ask the Malaysian Health Ministry to put them all to sleep”, prompting Malaysian musicians and gig-goers to respond to the assertion, which many labelled as ‘classist’.

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Raja Nazrin Shah, frontman and guitarist of post-hardcore group Sekumpulan Orang Gila wrote, “I have a strong feeling the writer is part of the B40, and only wrote this to get us fighting among ourselves. Those who act like devils and pit people against each other can come from any class. It’s that species that should be put to sleep, Malaysian Health Ministry or not,” a sentiment echoed by several other musicians including Masdo!‘s Naszrul Arif and Late Night Frequency’s Moja Husni.

Former Maddthelin vocalist Yasmin Matthews weighed in, asking gig-goers to report the post for “disrespecting the scene”. Post-hardcore act Hacktick! shared images of fans enjoying themselves at festivals, writing, “These “B40″ kids, came from all over the country. A number of them gathered at 7AM in front of the gates, investing all the money, energy, time they had just to celebrate their passion and love. If that bothers you so much, fuck off.”

Gig venue Merdekarya asked, “Why B40? Why ask the Health Ministry? And why is there a space between ‘tidur‘ and ‘kan‘?”, referencing a Bahasa Malaysia grammar error made in the original tweet, while the Malaysian Health Ministry themselves replied with a GIF of the late Chadwick Boseman in Black Panther saying, “We don’t do that here.”

Malaysian gig-goers were less than impressed, with several noting that the moshers had even circled a fallen member to protect him from others who might not be paying attention. Others pointed out that the assertion was “classist”, with one user writing, “What s wrong w a bunch of teens expressing themselves dancing to the live music? At least it s (sic) done openly and they didnt seem to be kicking or pulling at each other in a violent manner. N why label them B40 when it could easily be the T20s too?”

See more reactions from the Malaysian music scene below.

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Malaysia’s independent music scene came under fire recently when Kuala Lumpur gig venue Angkasa Space was shut down by the DBKL (Kuala Lumpur City Hall) over a lapsed license. Venue owner Mohd Zulhelmie Zullifan​, also known as Elmi, has since shared on Twitter that Angkasa Space’s license had been renewed and is valid till September 2023 following a meeting with the Senior Secretary of Federal Territories Minister Dato’ Seri Shahidan Kassim over the closure.

The venue is currently accumulating funds to obtain a proper entertainment license, which requires a deposit of MYR30,000.

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