Monday, June 15, 2015

Civics bureau sees local indie arts, music scene as threat to election

Published: 15 June 2015 6:36 PM
A document by the National Civics Bureau brands the indie movement in Malaysia as anti-establishment.


























A document by the National Civics Bureau brands the indie movement in Malaysia as anti-establishment.



Putrajaya's National Civics Bureau (BTN) has red-flagged the Malaysian "indie" music and literature movement, saying that it is anti-establishment and could impact the results of the coming general election.
In a document that was earlier available online but has now been removed, BTN also highlighted student activist Adam Adli Abd Halim, DAP member Melati Rahim, and writer and independent filmmaker Amir Muhammad as being members of the indie scene.
BTN, an agency under the Prime Minister's Department, which critics say functions to “brainwash” civil servants into being loyal towards the government, described indie (independent) music as ska, hip hop and rap while its literature genres include Zine, Blook (Blog + Book), Blog, Facebook and Telegram.
Prepared by BTN's research and publishing department, the document lists five recommendations to curb the growth of the movement, such as banning books published by so-called indie groups that are deemed to be obscene.
It also recommended that politicians go to the ground to understand the aspirations of those in the indie movement, to forge a relationship and understand their problems, generate right-wing icons among the youth as well as activating a mini discussion group for cadre.
Besides being anti-establishment, BTN described that the indie movement as having begun in 2000, with a huge following among the youth.
One of those targeted in the National Civics Bureau is activist Melati Rahim.One of those targeted in the National Civics Bureau is activist Melati Rahim.





















It said characteristics of the indie arts scene was the independent publication of books with content that emphasised "independent thinking, uncontrollable ideas, freedom from rules and freedom from publishing norms and ethics".
The document also said indie activities included organising arts festivals, alternative book clubs, poetry readings, public talks and communications through social media platforms like Facebook, Telegram, Instagram, WhatsApp and Wechat.
Among the groups it named as being part of the indie scene were Buku Jalanan, Baskerz, Geng Jurnal and Rabak.
It also considered the following as indie publishers – Studio Anai-Anai, Merpati Jingga, Lejen Press, DuBook Press and Poket Press.
BTN's concern about the indie movement is expressed in a segment outlining its impact, where it noted that there were many "silent followers" comprising young voters in the 14th general election.
It said indie groups move around without any monitoring and this could results in a "negative impact" to the government.
Its books, BTN added, were being sold without any hindrances and it continued to generate young icons that brought "extreme ideas" such those espoused by Adam Adli, Amir and Melati Rahim.
Adam Adli, a law student at Brickfields Asia College, had previously made headlines for bringing down a flag bearing a picture of Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak outside the Umno headquarters at the Putra World Trade Centre in 2011.
He was suspended indefinitely from Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris following that and is now a well-known rights activist.
Amir is known for independent films such as “The Last Communist” and “Apa Khabar Orang Kampung”, both of which have been banned in Malaysia.
Melati, whose real name is Jamila Rahim, is a 22-year-old niqab-wearing activist who came under criticism after it was learnt that she joined DAP.
BTN's document said that besides being a DAP member, Melati also wrote pornographic novels. – June 15, 2015.
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/civics-bureau-sees-local-indie-arts-music-scene-as-threat-to-election#sthash.xKDODa7b.dpuf

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