Between a rock singer and a hard regal place

It looks like the public protest promised by Selangor Pas Youth against the scheduled appearance of rock queen Ella and dangdut diva Mas Idayu at the July 6 Selangor-Singapore football tournament will not happen. This is after the Sultan of Selangor intervened, put his foot down and threatened to cancel the entire event altogether if the protest plan persisted.


According to yesterday’s Star,


In the memorandum submitted three days ago to the state government, state PAS Youth chief Sallehen Mokhyi had said that the performances by singers Mas Idayu and Ella were inappropriate for youngsters and their dressing did not follow the values of Islamic and Malay cultures.


In response, Mas Idayu told The Star that in her 15 years in the entertainment industry she only wore dresses and pants when performing.


Yes, there are many distractions these days in the lives of the young people and especially in an era of borderless world that could lead them to what is termed as ‘negative culture’. Some young people are, for instance, addicted to drugs and glue sniffing, while others succumb to sexual encounters. (This is apart from other kinds of social problems that mainly afflict some adults, namely addiction to political and economic power, social status, greed, corruption, etc.)


The causes for this phenomenon are multifaceted. One can’t really narrow it down to rock singers or musical concerts. Besides, are the youths so sexually vulnerable, or excitable, that a singer’s prancing on stage can spark a sort of ‘sexual epidemic’ in Malaysia? That is why Mas Idayu was spot on when she quipped, ‘Are they saying that if all artistes were banned from performing on stage, social illnesses would be eradicated?’


On this note, one needs to be reminded that popular music can be, and has been, a convenient platform in certain situations elsewhere to raise social consciousness among pop music fans and youths. In other words, popular music doesn’t necessarily have to be the opiate of the young people.


I am sure the Selangor Pas Youth, like many other concerned Malaysians, meant well, and was, and still is, indeed concerned about the moral conduct of the young generation. However, it appears that quite often the notion of morality has been reduced to all things sexual only. It would be useful for the youth wing to realise, if it hasn’t already, that such a view can be quite misleading and intellectually unsatisfying. 


Instead, for instance, consider the fact that it is downright immoral that in a relatively vibrant society like ours, economically speaking, there exists a stark contrast between abject poverty of the underclass and vulgar wealth of the rich and famous. It would be intellectually and socially useful for the political group to discuss and explore ways to reduce this immoral social gap. (This is, of course, assuming that the Selangor Pas Youth hasn’t yet taken up this issue, but if it has, it doesn’t appear to have taken on a high profile.)


This socio-economic issue is particularly pertinent and even urgent given the growing hardship that is being faced by the poor and the marginalised in the larger context of global economic slowdown. Like others in society, the Selangor Pas Youth may want to help map out strategies to help alleviate economic hardship of the downtrodden arising from this economic downturn.


As it is, the recent petrol price hike has already triggered off increasing prices of goods and services that eventually hit the poor like a ton of bricks.


Another example of an issue for the Selangor Pas Youth to ponder: the reported plan to build 12 more dams in Sarawak over the next few years. Would it not be immoral for the Youth, and other Malaysians for that matter (as God’s Vicegerents), if they stand idle by while the rape of the rainforests and the environment is about to be committed? This is apart from the potential of the construction of these dams causing massive social dislocation of the native communities in Sarawak.


In other words, it would be worth the while of the Pas Youth to raise awareness among the young of the immorality of social injustice and corruption, among others, in the country. This political wing has an opportunity to provide the moral (in the widest sense of the word) and intellectual leadership to the younger generation, the future of the country.


By doing so, the youth wing may well find itself very much in tune with the intellectual, moral and social needs of the country’s youth as well as other social groups in Malaysia.




2 Responses to “Between a rock singer and a hard regal place”

  1. 1 TomCat 20 June 2008 at 6:28 pm

    “….the Pas Youth to raise awareness among the young of the immorality of social injustice and corruption, among others, in the country? … to provide the moral (in the widest sense of the word) and intellectual leadership to the younger generation, the future of the country?”

    Good article, Mustafa, but alas, the day will never come. They lack the brains and the intellect, and the empathy. Think small but shout LOUD. What else is new?

  2. 2 ibn Bilal 22 June 2008 at 10:46 pm in our life is a good idea.

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