In a somewhat unsurprising turn of events, given their geographical location and all the anti-punk occurrences that have taken place in that area of recent months (much ado about shaving mohawks), Singaporean grindcore trio Wormrot were arrested on New Year’s Day by religious authorities after playing a show in Kuala Lumpur with Asilent.
At about 3am some strangers came into their room, from Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (Selangor Islamic Religious Department). The band’s manager Azean posted the full story to the band’s Tumblr with the whole story:
“After several questions and telling us that it is wrong for unmarried Muslim men and women to be in one room, they took our passports and we were taken to the police station to give our statements and call someone to bail us. Now.. now.. don’t blame the religion. Some people are just extremists and this Islamic rules only applied in Selangor and Kelantan. And of course only to the Muslim people. Please don’t stop visiting Malaysia because of this issue coz seriously it has a very good and dedicated Metal scene. Plus everything is cheap and you can find delicious food everywhere.
Only 5 of us were taken into custody. Arif, Rasyid, Fit, his girlfriend who is Arif’s little sister and myself. Rasyid’s girlfriend was not taken into custody coz she’s not Muslim and Fiaz was from another room. When we got out of the hotel to be escorted into the police lorry which already has some couples who were caught earlier than us, around 30 – 40 more people from JAIS, passerby and maybe some people from the media took pictures of us as though they had busted the most biggest crime for the night. We were taken to the Taman Muda Police Station and had to sit on the floor to wait for the organizer, Emi, to come and bail us out. Emi arrived at 4am and he had talked to one of the JAIS staff. At around 4.15am, we were taken to another police station as there was no high ranking officer to do up the reports. Again everyone had to be escorted into the lorry to be driven to Pandan Indah Police Station. However, when we arrived there, we were still held in the lorry as the high ranking staff from JAIS have not arrived. At around 5am, when they finally arrived, we thought that we will be taken into the police station for our statements. But… in the end… we were let off with just a warning. We were nearly fined $3000 MYR ($950 USD) per person if Emi did not call his lawyer up and we being Singaporeans. Plus we weren’t doing any sexual intercourse when they entered our room.
By the time Emi sent us back to our hotel, it was already 5.30am. We were beyond exhausted as we had been awake since 5am the day before, performing and then the hotel drama… Damn son! What a way to celebrate 2012!!”
What a way indeed. She goes on to say “Please do not think badly of the religion. Every religion is peaceful. Like I’ve said before, in every religion, there’s always some people who are extremists,” which I can understand to a point, but this infringement bugs me. Different cultures and that I guess; it happens everywhere though. Yes, I’m looking at you Mr. Santorum.