Search guitarist says merchandise dispute is the Malaysian band’s worst conflict in decades

The company at the centre of the dispute has denied accusations made by former frontman Amy and bassist Nasir

The guitarist of Malaysian rock band Search, Nordin Mohd Taib, has called the group’s ongoing dispute over allegedly unauthorised merchandise their worst conflict since he joined the band in 1984.

On May 21, former Search frontman Amy and the band’s bassist Nasir Daud alleged that the company Home of Champions was selling unauthorised merchandise in the band’s name. The two musicians claimed that the merchandiser had not gotten consent from them as well as the next-of-kin of the band’s late drummer Yazit Ahmad, and threatened legal action against the company.

On Friday (May 28), Nordin – also known as Din – spoke in a press conference alongside Home of Champions owner and manager Mozylir Mokhtaruddin as well as the company’s lawyers.

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In that conference, Mozylir read out a written statement claiming that Home of Champions had gotten approval and permission to sell Search-branded merchandise from the band’s current members, namely Noordin, Hamzah Mohd Taib (also known as Kid) and Nasir. Amy is not a current member of Search, having left the band for the second time last year.

The businessman also claimed that Home of Champions had been involved in producing and selling Search merchandise since February 2020.

According to Berita Harian, Noordin said that though Search’s internal conflicts have been a recurring matter, the ongoing dispute was their worst in decades. The management of the band has become increasingly disorganised in recent years, he claimed.

“If a band is managed by its own members, there will be matters such as self-interest,” he said during the online press conference.

“Even more so if there are outsiders who don’t know anything but intervene. So, it will be messy like it is [now].”

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Nordin, who is working closely with Home of Champions on the merchandise, said Search became unstable after their manager Aziz Bakar resigned.

“I’ve said this before, why haven’t we taken a manager? Search is a big name and it needs good management, not like it is now. Imagine a ship with two captains. That’s what’s happening now,” Nordin said.

“What have I been planning? Please explain. Who has been doing all the planning all this while? I don’t act on my own as alleged by Nasir,” Nordin added.

“If I see something that’s not right, I will try to fix it, not act on my own. I am doing this because I want to protect the rights of all [the band’s members].”

Nordin also claimed that he had made many attempts to inform Amy of his intention to work with Home of Champions to sell the merchandise, and that Nasir was also aware of the matter.

“It has been 40 years and only now we want to talk about rights and intellectual property? We have been like family for 40 years, there’s no need to fight. Amy is saying this, Nasir is saying that. We are like family, I would not take it [royalties] all.”

In the same press conference, one of the company’s lawyers, Syed Azimal, said the 62-year-old Amy should not be involved in the band’s affairs since he was no longer a member of the group.

“If anyone has left any association or group, that means there can be no more involvement in related matters. Even more so in a band that has no [legal] agreements,” the lawyer said, as quoted by Utusan Malaysia.

“Search does not have any written agreements since the beginning when he [Amy] was a member. In principle, if he has left he should not be involved [in the band] anymore.”

During the press conference, Mozylir also claimed Nasir was aware of the band’s dealings with the company since last year, and even met with him in Johor Bahru.

“I even gave a draft [of a contract] for him to see, only that he did not sign it. We have also shared ideas to realise this project. So, in principle, he has stated his agreement and support for Din and my efforts.

“When he said he did not know [about the merchandise], I was disappointed and shocked. Through what is happening now, I feel that Nasir must explain the truth. Reveal what is true and don’t lie. It’s embarrassing, we are old, not children anymore.”

Amy and Nasir have yet to respond to the claims made in Home of Champions’ press conference. In a Facebook post on May 22, Nasir said he and Amy had been advised by their lawyers to refrain from commenting on the dispute.

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