you don’t get to apologise for me for what i don’t feel sorry for

So there I was minding my own business when I saw an article on The Jakarta Post about the rap/hip-hop band NERD canceling their Jakarta gig hours before they were scheduled to perform. Apparently the band was not given the green light by certain authorities (whichever authorities that give out performance permits) to perform at Sunbust ’09, yet they went ahead and performed anyway. From what I read, it was a pretty good show.

After their show, the band members were detained by certain Malaysian authorities for performing without a permit. If you know anything about our authorities, you could guess for yourself the tone they might employ as well as the potential… uh, gentle warnings they might articulate to bring across the message that you do not do things in our country without proper permissions and such. According to Organisers 1, the band members were threatened with prolonged detention and had their passports taken from them. According to Organisers 2, no such thing happened. Do I care? Let me go think about it… no. I am already spending way too much time and effort on this blog post.

Apparently the incident left the band members traumatised and depressed. To quote Organiser 1, “This has never happened before in the music industry” (uhuh). So NERD packed up and headed for home, back to the good ol’ US of A and in the process, ditching their Jakarta gig because they were afraid of the same reception by the Indonesian authorities. This despite the Indonesian Embassy in KL reassuring the band that they would not face the same problem in Indonesia. I imagined the scenario to go like this:

Indonesian Embassy: Please, we implore you, sing in Jakarta!
NERD: Nahh we’s iz afraid dat da authorities will hold us in custody sho ’nuff!
Indonesian Embassy: We promise that we will never do to you what the Malaysians did to you!
NERD: Ah don’ believe uh werd dat ya say don’t make me shank ya!
Indonesian Embassy: Please kind sirs, 3000 fans are eagerly awaiting your presence on our humble shores! Do not let them down!
NERD: Tell dem ta migrate ta America, land o’ da free home o’ da brave all ye damn hood ratz..

Like I said, it was all a figment of my fertile imagination, thanks to Da Ebonics Translator.

Anyway that was not what got to me. What got to me was, a commenter on The Jakarta Post by the name of ‘chak’ apologising on behalf of all Malaysians to all NERD fans, good Malaysians and Indonesians and Organiser 1. No shit. I, a Malaysian citizen, a Malaysian birth certificate and identity card holder am highly affronted that I was unknowingly and unwittingly dragged into apologising for something that does not concern me nor give two fuck about. Neither did I have any intentions or feel compelled to say sorry for something that does not concern me nor give two fucks about. I am miffed! Piqued! Nettled! Outraged! Shift+F7 for more synonyms.

Curiosity got the better of me. I googled for more information, news, discussions, forums on this issue and found similar ‘chak’ sentiments by Malaysians who really should swap their citizenships with the thousands waiting in line for one. Go, just go live elsewhere. Go live long and prosper in America, Australia, Europe, Africa, wherever your heart’s desire. It’s going to be tough, but I (along with a selected few) will just have to carry on being the future leaders of the nation without you.

First of all, the team responsible for obtaining the permits should be the one apologising to whoever that matters. Apparently they applied for the permits twice, and kena rejected twice. Apparently said Malaysian authorities disagreed with NERD’s dressing sense. Then? I don’t know, write endless appeal letters, blow up the issue big big in the media, make NERD or their management write a letter promising heaven and earth to comply with whatever rules and regulations, beg till your knees drop. If you really wanted NERD to legally perform, you do whatever you have to do. In other words, be prepared to blow them if needed. Gwen Stefani managed to sing here, did she not? Shaggy, Flo-rida, herro?!?

Secondly, the team responsible for obtaining the permits should be the one apologising to whoever that matters. Said Malaysian authorities were ill-informed and incorrect in their decision? Said Malaysian authorities do not ‘get’ pop/ rap/ hip-hop music? Said Malaysian authorities are out-of-touch with Malaysian youths? Boo fucking hoo. Bottom line – permits denied. Fuck said authorities and proceed with the performance? Go ahead; just make sure that your crisis management is top of the game (but looks like it wasn’t, hah!).

Thirdly to ‘chak’, maybe I am naive. Maybe I should open my eyes big big. Maybe I should have a massive dose of reality injected right up my arse. But I have hope that the world is smarter than to think that Malaysians are a bunch of AK-47-wielding raving lunatics just because NERD was not given permission to perform in Malaysia.

Lastly, NERD is a bunch of spoilt, cry-babies. Organiser 1 going to sue you? Good. I hope they win.



  1. I guess the organizers probably conned them, with no Coldplay and Erica Badu pulling out at the last minute they would have been royally screwed with no N.E.R.D.

  2. our country is so exciting omg

  3. coldplay rules…sunburst sucks,
    jason mraz?…should just move on

  4. Omg ya lah, thank you! I mean Pussycat Dolls ended up coming here anyway in their skimpy outfits and racy dance moves, bla bla bla. Stupid. Stupid.

    Pharrell was in Melbourne! My friend bumped into him and he asked for her phone number! :O

  5. Even Peter Cetera is scared to come now hahaha..

    I recall some Miss Something paegant winner apologised on behalf of Malaysia for some stupid thing… hello!!

  6. NERD sucked anyway.

  7. no permit means no permit la. The organisers need a dictionary or what?!!

  8. it’s a tough call la organisers are doing shitty work but they did it anyway despite the risk so why point fingers at them? If there’s anyone to blame, it’s the authorities. better yet, just don’t simply blame cause it wasn’t any of us who did the work.

    man just to get things done around here. one really must have infinite patience (or money/power/political links, of course). Apology to all who feel offended.

    ps- N.E.R.D did well to entertain the crowd. nuff said.

  9. heya suanie, a friend told me about this.

    Sorry my comments offended you so. However, although they were written at a time of admitted pissiness, I still hold fast to what I said.

    Let’s look at the three parties involved.

    Organisers: Getting NERD to come down is the biggest hurdle. Applying for permits in any civilised country shouldn’t be. They did apply, it’s not like they didn’t try (twice). It’s also not like they’re asking strippers or NWA to come down. KORN was way more profane at the gig anyway. In this case, it’s obvious that someone who’s hand got slapped under the table said no. But I can guarantee you that if the organisers had cancelled the concert outright, there’d be a whole lot more pissing going on in the blogs than right now.

    NERD: From the perspective of Americans, we are a third-world country, just like Indonesia, Thailand or the Philippines. And this incident will only serve to make that impression more solid. If you got almost arrested for no reason in Kenya, i doubt you’d want to see the rest of Africa. Even more so if you’re a public figure where you might think “No way they’d pull that sh*t”.

    and finally, our authorities: You know, I know and everyone else knows that NERD were not permitted to play not on the basis of “lewd dressing”, and we also know that no amount of ballyhooing in the media, or anything would actually change their decision. What they want is a kowtow, with an angpow hanging from your head.

    I’m sorry if my comments were construed to ‘represent’ all Malaysians, and that some of them might be offended that I extended an olive branch to our neighbours. It’s not like i started a war. So, in future, If ever i do choose to post up something like that, I’ll just sign off on behalf of all malaysians (excluding suanie).

  10. Dear Chak,

    The next time you want to represent ALL malaysians, Please exclude me as well.


  11. ST: don’t quite blame the organisers for trying to fuel more excitement to the concert. last year’s was rather fun. this year, i don’t know what happened. but the whole flip flopping thing was a bit bleh

    ky: z0mg yay

    andrew: heahehahehhea i don’t listen to ‘cool’ bands like you. actually i found a perfect tshirt for you online

    mell: i also remember holly valance.. during the height of her ‘kiss kiss’ song… she and her stripper-like moves hhahaha did your friend give pharrell her no. 😛

    suertes: they always do that. feel like smacking them. sometimes politicians also

    eyeris: really? i read lots of reviews, saying that their show was good


    chriso: cos it makes money. it’s business. businesses come with risks. the authorities are not to be blamed. like i said, you can accuse them of not being able to appreciate music, not being in touch with pop culture, etc. it may all be true and we know it. but that’s not how the shoe drops. you being an aspiring entrepreneur should know this more than anyone else 🙂

    chak: hey there. ditto, i wrote this when i was all flared up 🙂 i know the organisers applied twice, and they were rejected twice. the same organisers probably applied the same permits for korn. despite korn being more profane, etc why was nerd rejected whereas korn got to legally perform? i don’t know, you don’t know, nobody but the authorities know. like i said, maybe they were ill-informed, but that doesn’t mean that they were wrong in not issuing the permits. it’s easy to blame the authorities on this or any other case (which i’ve done plenty of times), but again, bottom line was permit denied. now i’m not saying that i know what went down — if the company who applied for the permits (i read that pineapple ceased all working relations with them after this incident) tried all ways to get the permit. having done certain stuff before, i can appreciate how difficult it is to deal with certain authorities. again it’s business, comes with risks and unpredictable things. they should have been more prepared than this. can’t blame them for going ahead with the performance, but they did this knowing fully well that it was an illegal performance. again, they should be well prepared to face the consequences.

    to put it simply, if you knowingly speed past a red light, you should be prepared to have the cops on your tail. whether or not you think they saw your misdeed or not.

    i seem to be repeating myself only 😛

    thanks for the ‘excluding suanie’ thought 😉

    LT: heh

  12. what they should have done is let NERD perform and then later blame the existence of mat rempit on them. i am a genius.

  13. thanks for this post. tired of people ranting on and on against the government for no good reason. go heckle the organisers.

    chak: “If you got almost arrested for no reason in Kenya, i doubt you’d want to see the rest of Africa. Even more so if you’re a public figure where you might think “No way they’d pull that sh*t”.”

    they didn’t get “arrested for no reason”, they were warned and they ignored it. too bad. suddenly bands can do no wrong?

  14. I come here for my regular dose of Shift+F7. 🙂

    Nicely written, Suan.

    Articulate, I love the way you used this word in the post. =D

  15. In SOviet Russia, NERD detains you!!1

  16. Calvin Foo says:

    Facts: Scientist are working towards environmental friendly solution to electronic-based solution. electronic car for example. less burning = less heat generated = more environment friendly = less global warming.

    so what did people do while doing so called Earth Hour? People switch off the lights, great. But what did people do after that?

    1. They light up dozens of candles. Houses are filled with candles as if an early Raya celebration instead of just turn on two normal neon lights.

    2. They drive out and scout around for houses that turned off like they did. More cars on the road.

    Earth Hour my ass.

  17. suan…saw that tee shirt before..planning to get one…to show how ‘cool’ and ‘indie’ i am….hahahahahahahah…its so silly..gosh

  18. paul: you are indeed! i want to blame everything on mat rempit, including your new tv

    justine: yeap. i’m no government apologist, but not everything is their fault

    hb: thank you 😉

    calvin: and the release of the balloons, hahahha. and rubbish everywhere after the concert. brilliant, brilliant

    andrew: do it!

  19. Dabido (The missing person) says:

    On behalf of all Americans everywhere I accept your apology! 🙂

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