Information, Communication and Culture Minister Seri Rais Yatim told reporters this morning that Puspal, or the Central Agency for the Application for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artists, had not received an application for the set of shows originally slated for this weekend.
This is so weird. To be honest, based on my own experience in handling so many international shows, the first thing on our 'To-do list' is submitting an application to Puspal for a performance permit. I expect all organizers to do the same unless they use the service of runners to submit the application for them.
Has the application gone missing? Some magician must be at work!
It is still odd. Why would the organizer claim that their application has been rejected if they did not even apply for a permit? I hope Rais was given the right information.
As a proponent of performing arts, I sincerely hope the organizer, Puspal and the ministry can work out an amiable solution to facilitate the group to perform in Malaysia.
Please do not repeat another illogical decision to ban any legitimate artistes and performers from contributing to the performing arts scene in Malaysia.
The Erykah Badu's case may be a win for hardcore Islamists but it is a dent to Malaysia's hope to become a hub for performers.
It is time to get it right, Mr Minister Rais.