Rebellion Fest, a concert featuring right-wing “Malay power” bands that was scheduled to be staged in Ipoh on April 13, has been cancelled. Ladyboss Studio, the venue for the concert, cancelled it after coming under pressure from anti-racism protesters.
The Malay Power movement is “concerned about keeping a pure Malay community all over the Malay Archipelago,” according to one band member. Proponents wish to keep immigrants from coming to the country.
A skinhead activist who pushed for the cancellation of Rebellion Fest said this to the Unite Asia punk and hardcore music website.
“I texted the owner to set up a time to meet them. I wanted to sit down in a formal manner and talk to them. Try my best to explain to them the ideology of “Malay power”. I tried my best to explain to them that these groups of people are NOT skinheads and are not punks.
I also explained to them the connection between their racist ideologies and the vile human being who attacked the mosques in New Zealand last week.
I brought with them proof of their ideologies and how it’s connected to Nazis such as the words Darah Maruah which stands for Blood & Honor which was the Nazi youth motto.”
The activist said that the owner claimed not to know about the issue and that if he had not told him, “then he would never have found out.” He agreed to cancel the show and return the deposit.”
A similar event in Kuala Lumpur may still push through, with six such “Malay power” bands lined up to perform. The concert, called “Death to Antifa,” has posters that show a large eagle similar to an official symbol used by Nazi Germany, and is scheduled for April 6 at a venue called Black Box. Bands such as Xenophobia and Total Distrust are part of the lineup.
But a representative for the developer of the mall, UEM Sunrise, where Black Box is located has denied this.
The South China Morning Post reports him as saying, “No authorisation has been given for such an event to take place. UEM Sunrise wishes to dismiss any association with Death to Antifa as well as all performers related to the said event, and will not hesitate to initiate legal action against individuals or groups who organise events using [our] brand without authorisation.”
Vice, the popular culture website, ran a story about Malay power bands in 2013.
In the article, these bands are described as “a group of far-right nationalists who want to rid Malaysia of any non-ethnic Malays and stop immigration into the country. Which, although pretty backwards and reductive, isn’t all that surprising in the current world climate. What was surprising, and kind of confusing, is that they identify themselves as neo-Nazis, are fond of sieg-heiling, and listen to Nazi bands like Skrewdriver and Angry Aryan, yet definitely, aren’t Aryan themselves. And adopting a worldview that specifically discriminates against your race seems a very odd thing to do.”
The writer for Vice interviewed a man who calls himself Slay. Slay is a member of Boot Axe, one of the bands that was scheduled to perform at Rebellion Fest in Ipoh.
Slay calls himself “a second-generation fighter for Malay power.” He explained that “Malay power stems from a point in history—the 13th of May, 1969—the Chinese and Malay communities fought each other. However, the punk and skinhead Malay-power movement started in Kuala Lumpur in the early 90s.”
The anti-racist skinhead who talked to Unite Asia also said this, “Seriously. Malay power is very similar to ‘white power’ overseas, they both have no idea what they actually stand for. It’s all based on fear and ignorance. These Malay power bands have a strange fear that other races are here to put them down.”