The plight of nightclubs and musicians due to Covid-19 pandemic has touched Sepang MP Hanipa Maidin despite him having his personal beliefs on the industry.
“I may have my own beliefs on this industry, but I am deeply touched by their plight. I really hope that the government can do something to bring them out from this nightmare.
“If there is any initiative to set up an emergency tabung (fund) for us to donate and help them, I am more than willing to donate.
“As Amanah is greatly motivated by the slogan ‘Islam is merciful to all’, I sincerely believe that my religion would strongly urge me to be merciful to them,” Hanipa said in a statement today.
He referred to a report yesterday which highlighted the plight of pubs and live musicians, such as live musicians living paycheck to paycheck without any Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF), Socso, insurance and medical benefits.
In the report yesterday, distraught musicians and nightclub owners joined Federation of Malaysian Entertainment Industry president Liew Poon Siak in expressing dismay over Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s remark that it might be best for nightclubs to remain closed since it would be difficult to observe physical distancing in these premises.
“Malaysians are quick to acknowledge the richness of our cultural diversity, but very quickly forget that this unique diversity also comes with a tolerance of beliefs and practices that are different from one's own.
“The recent decision to keep the pub and nightclub industry on lockdown in Malaysia is an example of a decision made with a low level of tolerance for our cultural and economic diversity,” said Adil Johan, Research Fellow at UKM’s Institute of Ethnic Studies, who also plays the saxophone for Nadir and Azmyl Yunor Orkes Padu.
It was also reported that some musicians have resorted to selling their beloved instruments just to survive while others are selling home-cooked food and stuff at bazaars.
Ever since the movement control order (MCO) was implemented in March, bars and pubs have not been allowed to operate, disrupting not only their businesses but also the livelihood of live circuit musicians.
Muhyiddin had made his remark at a Perikatan Nasional (PN) convention in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.
He said the economy has shown signs of recovery after the government reopened almost all sectors.
“Only pubs and nightclubs have yet to resume business. But I feel it may be a good thing if they don’t open at all,” he added with a smile.
A video of the event showed PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and controversial preacher Ridhuan Tee Abdullah among those who applauded this remark.
At this point, Muhyiddin added: “Because (it is) hard to practise physical distancing for obvious reasons.”