PLACE RAIDED ON NEW YEAR'S EVE
sent out 2nd January 2006
held to be charged on Tuesday
The New Year
seems to have got off on a wrong foot because Paul's Place
was raided last night. The posse of police who arrived about 10
took all the equipment away, Paul's, the show organisers - sound
system, lights, amps, recorder and mixer. They even came with a
camera crew from TV3, expecting to find Black Metal.
They found no
Black Metal, and no drugs, even after testing more than a
hundred people and keeping them in police lock-up until about 6
Some of the people taken away had nothing to do with the live music
party taking place at Paul's - they just happened to be chilling out at
dotted around the area.
police are still holding 4 people including David, Paul's
colleague, who they claim are the organisers of the event, and it seems
they are planning to charge them with holding an illegal
(which means one of more than 500 people). However there were
certainly no more than 150 in Paul's Place at the time, including those
in the cafe downstairs and on the street outside. But how can
proove this? It's their word against yours.
In any case
these four people cannot be released until they have
appeared in magistrate's court and the earliest is Tuesday
This group would probably include Paul himself were it not for the fact
that he had left to play a gig with his band in Sri Hartamas.
A press conference has been called by
the organisers of the
show: 2 pm
tomorrow (Monday January 2) at Paul's Place, 8, Jalan 2/137B off Jalan
Klang Lama (turn left opp the Pearl Hotel and then left again)
is the only live music place in KL that doesn't have a
liquor licence. It seems that if you set up a live music joint in
country and want a period entertainment licence (ie a year's
have to have a liquor licence
musit give RM20,000 deposit to the local authority. Then if
there is a raid and someone is found to have drugs or to have consumed
drugs, or if there's a drunken fight and someone gets injured, then
poof! there goes your 2 grand (a remarkably effective way of
discouraging live music).
But what about
all the young people who JUST WANT TO PLAY MUSIC? Where
do they go? If they play on the street they also get arrested
some buskers last month. Why should music be so inextricably
with the drinking of alcohol? The authorities ought to be
Paul and his venue for giving these young musicians a stage on which to
play and a sound system, so that others can come and hear hear the
music and enjoy the show without being penalised.
The Latest details (10th January):
A total of 310 people were taken
away from Paul's Place and the surrounding area at about 11 pm on New
Year's Eve and had to celebrate the New Year 2006 inside the
Brickfields Police Station compound. All were tested for drug
consumption and released around about dawn except for 5 people
(including David Paul's partner) who were held until being released on
Police Bail on Monday 2nd January for two weeks pending charges.
the sound equipment is also still being held, although we are led by a
lawyer to believe that the Police have an obligation under law to allow
the owners (who include a renter of equipment whose business is
suffering) to bond and take back their property which must then be
returned in the event of a court case. However the Police tell me
they can't do this. We are hoping that in view of the
publicity no charges will be brought and we can then recover our
equipment. (Have since been
told by the lawyer that we all have to MAKE AN APPLICATION for the
bonding of the equipment, and to do that we need to know the owners of
all the stuff including sundry guitars, amps and effects units which
no-one has claimed. So please guys - don't be afraid - come
and claim your gear!)
So sorry for
your troubles. Typical law enforcement with all brawn
and no brain and then again it's all about the money and the New year
way of filling up the coffers of the you know who.
I say get the
fans to flood the editorial pages of the press NOW and
for the whole week. Being relentless pays off!
Ms Smarty Pants
This is the bassist Wendy from the
band ZHEN that played in Paul's Place thanks to your organising the gig
sumtime like a yr ago. Read your email about the unfortunate raid that
took place in Paul's Place.
I'm sure its a wrongly made tip-off by
some prankster or a competitor of Paul's Place who just wants to see
the place go down for dubious reasons. Its not uncommon for such things
to happen, especially in a country that's a theocracy, it needs to use
someone or any entity as a sacrificial scapegoat to present as a prime
example to others.Think George Orwell's remarkably timeless indictment
on the power of politics in Animal Farm. Well Singapore is also
for its strict regulations on entertainment and we're not even a
religious state. Busking on the streets without a license can get one
fined/imprisoned and alcohol license for pubs/clubs in singapore is
ridiculously high (as with everything else here anyway).
In any case, I and the rest of my band
would like to extend our full sympathy to Paul and our
his commitment to music and to taking the time and effort to set
place for bands to showcase originals. Even to musicians outside of
Malaysia. Of course also thanks again to you for allowing ZHEN a spot
to perform. We truly hope the matter will not get too awry and may the
year 2006 get better in times to come.
Have a Happier New Year soon
So sorry that the New Year
celebrations is ruined by this crime ...
Just the pitiful and sorry state of
affairs in our country where even
the supposed good guys (especially our police, n politicians) are
crooks - they r worse are they are the "legalised crooks"
these crooked n corrupt people make
lives difficult for commonfolk who
are trying to earn an honest living - such as musicians and artist
i support all of you and hope that
the police will release david and
company who did nothing illegal
Happy New Year n More Power To U,
Justice For All
THAT IS SUCH BULLSHIT !! IT
MAKES ME SICK TO THINK POLICE CAN DO SUH DISHONEST CRAP AND TO SUCH A
LEGIT VENUE !! FUCK DA POLICE !!!!
THE BLACKENING OF MUSIC
sent out 4th January 2006
Well if we
were innocent before we certainly are not now. By "we" I
refer to the alternative and underground musicians, their fans and
supporters and those who don't see anything wrong with folk making
their own music and performing it before their friends and fans.
Saturday night New Year's Eve we got a shock. The police
came and for the moment anyway took away that right - to perform
music. Leaving out the extraordinary, draconian way
the police went
about busting this show, the fault is not just the police, but the
extremely restrictive series of laws and regulations that the police
have the job to enforce.
The Star reported that five people would be charged, "the
owner of the concert venue, two for selling tickets and two others for selling
merchandise at the concert". Oh, so
it's illegal to sell
merchandise at a concert? - which must include not just T-shirts (which
were confiscated) but also CDs and "fanzines" - home produced magazines
in bunches of ten or twenty done on a home computer - and even flyers
printed material. So that
means if I type out a
programme and bios of the bands appearing at a concert and distribute
it to the audience, then I can be arrested for contravening the
Printing Presses and Publications Act. Are we not going too
it seems we can't even sell our own CDs at or in front of a venue where
our band is appearing, even if they have holograms on?
when the police came to the supposed Black Metal Concert at
Paul's Place, they took away every
small piece of equipment, no
matter who it belonged to. Do they
really have the right, as well
as arresting people, even those sitting in restaurants who have nothing
to do with the concert, and keeping them all night (and 5 people for
almost the whole long weekend), do they really have the right to
CONFISCATE ALL THE EQUIPMENT? Do they have the right to take all
amps, speakers, mixers and expensive and delicate electronic articles
away in a lorry and keep them in that lorry in the open air with no
cover on in the police compound?
Some of this
equipment belongs to people who are completely innocent of
contravening the law, who had nothing to do with the organising of this
show, but who are hirers out of PA systems, running a bona fide
business, who risk having thousands of pounds worth of their barang
Malaysian public happy about this? Would they like live
musical entertainment to be suppressed in this way? If so then I
suppose we have to submit to the majority view, that music is bad and
all young people should be playing scrabble instead, or marching about
learning to be soldiers.
In order to
defend themselves the independent musicians got together
and held a press conference on Monday which was attended by
reporters and media people. But one TV station described this
conference as a number of people rallying together in support of
which was not the tone of the meeting at all. The
message of the meeting was "we are not black metal and do not deserve
Can we not have
some fair reporting? - is it too much
to ask for
that wonderful word impartiality? The article
on Monday 2nd
Harian Metro gave a completely biased and misleading impression of the
concert, the people attending it and the behaviour of the musicians and
fans who took part in it. We just appeal to journalists and
don't blacken the youth and make out they are evil and dissolute just
for attending a musical event (or must we all pay RM40 to see Peter Pan
instead? Must we never grow up but remain children and be led by
hand of media hype and advertising wherever we go?).
think that Paul's Place is a pub. But it is not a pub. A
pub remains open every night and has a Liquor Licence and sells liquor
(that is draught and bottled beer, wine, spirits and liqueurs). A
often has live music usually 3 or 4 nights a week. Paul's Place
restaurant downstairs on the ground floor, but there is also a room
upstairs which is from time to time used for private functions.
equipment is brought in for the occasion whenever there is a function,
so bands can play. As Rafil Elyas puts it, "From what I
Paul's Place is a licensed cafe. He is allowed
to sell soft drinks and canned/bottled beer and host private events
(i.e., gigs). The authorities have never seemed to have a problem with
this until now."
Let us try to
resolve these problems in a sane, sensible, rational and
fair way, and find a way for youth to perform music without always
looking behind them, wondering when they are going to be carted off to
the lock-up and charged with some offence. We are hoping for a
tolerant society, one in which people can pursue an activity like music
which is essentially not dangerous or distructive, which is basically
quite a good discipline, and one in which there are social skills to be
learned into the bargain (huh! Like how to handle the police - Ha Ha!)
and support for you and your work in promoting live music
in Malaysia. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help.
sympathise with your ire!
I am a member
of Hassan and Paul's
band (Brownsugar) and am really disgusted by what happened!! How could
they do this to Paul who just had very good intentions.... providing a
place for kids to play their music..... Remember we just had a pleasant
discussion over at Paul's house last Christmas... bout music and
and this is what happened!! My god... I really hope everythings gonna
turn up fine... There were no black metal on the night when they raided
Paul's Place..... only kids with Black outfit from tip to toe!! It
realy effected Paul's playing that night...... We were paid for
a gig.... poor Paul and David....
I just found out today about the
events that conspired on new years and
would firstly like to apologize on behalf of Fat Boys for not being at
your press conference yesterday to show our support.
The state of understanding on the
local underground music scene by the
government is just appalling. It seems that nowadays if your not part
of a major music label, a graduate of AF, or your name has “Siti” in
it, your automatically characterized as a member of the “Black Metal”
It’s sad to think that the
authorities are reactive and not proactive,
and this isn’t just related to music but a lot of things e.g.:
* The state of
construction sites in this country is dreadful.
precautions are zero and we all know this. But it takes
guy with connections to get crushed by falling concrete
the authorities to start making a “Whoo Haa” about it
* Snatch theft has been
going on for so long, nothing was done,
mother looses a life while being robbed. Suddenly it’s the
priority, and a whole government campaign is launched.
Basically “Shit has to happen” before
those with influence realize that
“oh! We better fix this”. Certain local press don’t help things either
by launching them self’s into a media frenzy like sharks tasting blood,
going on about “social ills” putting up pictures, and pointing fingers
without first investigating it, and understanding the issues at hand.
What’s also amusing is that your
point about licensing issues. for live
music venue you need an alcohol license, and a shit load of money. But
you cant sell alcohol at gigs in fear of being shut down, and tagged as
a negative social activity.
People have to start and learn that
loud, fast, aggressive music isn’t
always about the devil, and orgy’s!
This is really terrible terrible news. We have only played that one gig in KL at Pauls Place and we really appreciated the enthusiasm and spirit of the place.
Is there anything people here in Singapore can do?
not think that anyone in the music world should be abused by anyone and
we should do whatever we can to assist such a party if we are to
justify our name in the industry and music world. I think
raid was a clearly designed punitive action....and more so when a New
Year party was in progress.
Well, in fact the
majority in this land are made to tow the line of
a few ignorant minority who eqaul uniforms, truncheons and uncouthness
as might and right.
The raid reeks of
an all too familiar scenario - the unpaid
unofficial licencing fee.
Maybe a regualr
press release to all the media (and the
'authorities') might educate them to the positive contributions of
Paul's place to the music scene. And then some holiday workshops for
youth on alternative music (the authorities love this especially when
the words 'education' and 'keep them off the streets' are attached!) -
Well, just a
suggestion from a total ignoramus on alternative music!
Ms Smart Pants
Its a touching yet a disturbing email
to read at such an early part of a gloomy morning. I dont know what the
intentions of the authorities were for such an occurrence and how the
media is planning to position the mindset of our population (if they
even have a clue at all of what's going on). But it looks like this is
merely the beginning of an ethnic cleansing of the underpowered
alternative/underground community with the excuse of bad influences of
unfavourable music genres.
dont know about u guys but i
believe Paul's Place was one of the few launch pads for many growing
bands in Malaysia and for it to get raided is like a sunday morning
attack on pearl harbour. I think we all know that Paul and many gig
organizers have put their hearts into the scene and relied a whole lot
on these venues.
things are slowly turning against
them for the sake of the youth community? Is this a culture forbidden
from the youth?
maybe its just 'commercial vs
underground' thus the bigger music industry wins. Let the
'music-so-popular-to-everyone' sweep away the who-gives-a-shit and
powerless industry under the carpet.
whatever it is it shouldn't
stop us from bailing out. The industry is growing. This is just an
excuse for our bands to play more gigs. We can only get better.
whoever says otherwise.
I am emailing to tell you how dismayed
I am with this entire debacle. I have been in contact with Sonia, and
have fervently read all your emails and also checked out the blog that
Sonia set up. I am appalled at the way the police handled everything,
the shady reasons they are giving for their uncalled for actions, and
their even shadier so-called charges that they will be issuing out to
those detained over the weekend. I cannot help but feel that this is
obvious proof of the poor preconceived notions Malaysians have toward
musicians, and as if it hasn't been enough, this incident will only
perpetuate their sad view of us.
But most of all, I am dismayed by the
press. Their inability to get facts straight is embarrassing and
disgusting, what with the Malay press turning everything into a soap
opera, putting words in people's mouths, and the English papers
reporting contradictory statements from the chief of police himself. If
this is Malaysian journalism, then no wonder the public think so poorly
Yet at the same time, perhaps we can
turn this step backwards to our advantage. We musicians have not made
enough of an effort to unite and to fight for our rights. It has always
been a handful of fighting spirits in the front line, while most of us
reap the benefits of all that work.
Perhaps this is a call to arms.
I hope that all Malaysian musicians
everywhere will realise the depth of this event and what it implies. I
hope that each and every one of them will feel the
indignation, frustration and anger that I feel for all those
that were there at Paul's that night. But most of all, I hope they
will realise that what we are lacking is a unity
that has never been
there. There are so many of us, and almost no one is standing up
state our case and to fight for the freedom of self - expression.
Funny... considering what we do for a living, music, is exactly
that: self expression.
Thank you so much for doing what you
do. For what it's worth, I'm glad you're on our side. ;)
Viva la musica,
I know many musicians are pissed off
by this matter. Probably this
is a 'grey' area whereby our indie rock music is not getting the
progress it should be. I am sure it's not the first time we encounter
this tragedy.........well it was the norm back in the 90's and early
year of 2000. The authorities were not well educated about the
matters and soon whoever leading the team has made wrong judgements
which soon leads to wrong actions. That is why the general public will
always have a bad impression of rock music to the society.
honestly think that our society is truly lacking in common sense. Is
it because of our cultural diffrences or our ignorance towards
I freelance as a writer for the Star,
although it has nothing to do
with music anymore. Like you, I'm amazed how some sections of the media
can really take things too subjectively, when reporting is meant to be
fair and objectively-viewed.
I'm a big fan of what you do and I
hope you will continue doing it.
Fight for your rights and keep that flame burning, mate.
You've got more supporters than you
think and we all hope you bounce
back as soon as possible.
Peter, I know I hardly ever write
back to you, but it's not for a
lack of support. Right now, I feel that I really do need to take the
time to send you a note, however brief, in support of
musicians and youths in this country - especially those following a
path not carved for them b y corporate/state/party political interests.
whole police raid and subsequent media treatment of this issue was a
farce. I think it's fantastic that the organizers and lawyers etc.
called a press conference after that to get a fair hearing. I saw the
coverage in the NST, which was good even though it was relegated to the
inside pages of the paper.
No matter, what's important is that
noise gets made and that we
stand up for our fundamental liberties. As a musician myself, I
think this is where musicians play a very important role, too, whether
among fellow artists or within civil society. I feel music
such a powerful outlet for the expression of ideals and ideas. While
music alone does not inspire revolutions, music often becomes the voice
for movements that aspire to the larger ideals of justice,
and human rights.
demonizing of certain genres of music is a regrettable way of dealing
with the need for various spaces for people to express
there are musicians who peddle hate and prejudice through their music -
e.g. with racist/sexist/homophobic intent or content - then we who
disagree with this should respond by exercising our freedom of
expression, not by banning or intimidating people whom we disagree
Freedom of expression is
guaranteed by our Constitution and by the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights and this is something we have to drive home again and
In support and in solidarity,
It is indeed an unfortunate incident
that happened on New Year's Eve,
especially since there was no apparent crime committed. And that is
where all parties involved need to clarify.
Were any laws or regulations broken
during the event?
If not, then stop acting like a
victim and instead find out what the
misunderstanding was all about. It would be a good idea to some legal
advice on the matter and find out what your rights are in this
Then gently but firmly fight for it.
If there were a few minor regulations
contravened, then accept
responsibility and find out what is within the law when organising such
events. Inform the police of the activities to be conducted beforehand
and get a written approval from them.
Look at it this way, don't you think
those police officers would have
much prefered staying home that night enjoying their new year with
their families than raiding Paul's Place? They just had a job to do
after all. Imagine how frustrated they must've felt when no one tested
positive for drugs. In their report, it was probably a failed raid!
They should have been somewhere else where they might have saved a
teenager from drug addiction.
So here's a win-win suggestion.
Cooperate with the law within reason so
that they'll be more effective elsewhere and at the same time, that
will allow an approved avenue for live music to continue playing.
there must have been some sort of warning given by the authorities re
Paul's Place and its "activities" before the raid. I may be
Much as I
sympathsize with you and all fellow musicians concerned I, together
with some other friends of mine, think that we have to try and
more professional industry. And being professional also means
things within the laws of the country however "Draconian" they may
like this in an unlicensed premise and without the necessary permits is
against the law. The raid on 31.12.05 can be challenged in the
as what I believe you and your friends
are doing or planning to do.
WHAT TO DO WHEN STOPPED BY POLICE
The next time you are stopped by persons who claimed they are
plainclothes police, you are under no obligation to answer their
questions or follow their orders, lawyers told Malaysiakini today.
who is not wearing his uniform does not have the authority to stop anyone," lawyer and human rights activist
Sivarasa Rasiah said.
commenting on the alleged gang-rape of an 18-year-old University
four men claiming to be police officers on New Year's Eve. The
said that her car was stopped in Taman Tun Dr Ismail in Kuala Lumpur
and were asked by the men to open the car bonnet. She was then told
that she had committed an offence and ordered to follow the men to a
police station. The girl was driven in
car along the North-South expressway to the Tapah-Cameron
road before she was raped in an oil palm estate.
and many others, have sparked confusion over the procedures which motorists must follow when flagged down
by the police. "The most common problem is that most people take
instructions without determining if the other person is really a
lawyer Annie Santiago said.
you are stopped by a uniformed policeman, then you are required to
stop. But you need not get out of the car because you are not expected to do so", Santiago said. The other rule to
is to provide your identity card only
you are asked to do so. "Even then, you should get his ID first to confirm if he is a cop. There is no harm
in calling the relevant police station to verify if he is supposed to
be on duty that day," Sivarasa said.
said that motorists should never follow an officer to the police
station unless one is under arrest. "If you are not sure, and your
instincts tell you that something is wrong, then drive off to the
nearest police station and lodge a report," Sivarasa said.
In response to
the alleged gang-rape of the 18-year-old, Women's Aid
executive-secretary Ivy Josiah called on the police to launch an
education program to teach the public about their rights to prevent
them from being victimised by bogus police officers.
to follow in the event you are stopped by uniformed police Officers
Stop the car and wind down
If the police officers ask
for your documents, request to see their IDs first.
If you are satisfied about
their identity, ask them if you are being summoned, and
Produce your identity card
and driver's license and wait to collect your summon ticket.
event that the police officers ask you to
follow them to the police station:
Ask if you are under arrest
and for what offence.
If you are not under
arrest, you have the right to leave.
event you are flagged down by persons you
believe could be plainclothes police:
Do not stop because
plainclothes police officers do not have the authority to stop you.
Drive to the nearest
police station and lodge a report. (The same procedure applies to
event the police come to your house:
Do not let them in before
checking their IDs.
If you are not satisfied,
phone the nearest police station and confirm if they had been sent to
You are under no obligation
to allow them into the house if they don't have a search warrant.
Do not go with them if you
are not under arrest.
event persons who claimed to be
plainclothes police come to your house:
Do not let him in because
they do not have the authority to do so.
Lodge a report at the
nearest police station.
CALL THE COPS:
IPK KUALA LUMPUR: 03 -
AMPANG: 03 - 4252 2222
BRICKFIELDS 03 - 2274
CHERAS: 03 - 9284 2222
DANG WANGI: 03 - 2070
KL TRAFFIC POLICE: 03 -
IPK SELANGOR: 03 - 5514
HOTLINE: 03 - 5510 2999
PETALING JAYA: 03 - 7956
SHAH ALAM: 03 - 5510
KLANG: 03 - 3371 2222
HULU LANGAT: 03 - 8736
HULU SELANGOR: 03 - 6064
KUALA LANGAT: 03 - 318
KUALA SELANGOR: 03 -
GOMBAK: 03 - 6092 6222
SABAK BERNAM: 03 - 3224
SEPANG: 03 - 3142 1222
KLIA: 03 - 8787