Malaysian 'Black Metal' Fans Arrested At New Year's Eve Concert

The Malaysian national news agency Bernama.com has issued the following report:

Three of the four youths remanded at the Brickfields Police Headquarters [in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia] for alleged involvement in a "black metal" gig were freed Monday afternoon (Jan. 2) on a verbal bail following a release appeal by DAP International Secretary Ronnie Liu and the concert's organisers.

The four who were arrested on Dec 31 at Paul's Place, a live music studio at Jalan Klang Lama, were supposed to be remanded for five days to help police with investigation on the alleged illegal gathering and substance-abuse party on New Year's Eve.

Three of those arrested were selling T-shirts promoting local music bands on the ground floor of the building while the other was a sound engineer, according to Liu, who earlier attended a press conference held by the concert organiser at the sound studio.

During the press conference, lawyer Amer Hamzah Arshad said police action in raiding the premises without declaring their purpose or showing a warrant was wrong.

He said that of the 380 people who were arrested and trucked to the police station that night, some were not even in the premises but enjoying their supper at the mamak stall downstairs.

"But of the 380 tested for drugs, only four tested positive. That means 99 per cent of those who attended the gig were drug-free," he said.

A tudung-clad girl who was arrested during the raid said she came only for the good music and to meet up with friends.

"We were just there for the good music and meeting up with friends. The music is not 'evil' as reported by the media... most of the bands performing are 'straight-edge,' meaning that these bands promoted no-smoking, drugs, alcohol or free-sex lifestyle," said the 19-year-old who wanted to be known only as Abby.

She was one of the several tudung-clad girls whose presence at the gig were specially mentioned in a news report by a local daily.

Abby claimed that her boyfriend, who was selling t-shirts for a band during the raid, was initially arrested for selling t-shirts without a license but was later remanded by the police as they believed him to be "heading" a black metal cult. He was one of those released Monday.

On the reported drinking and sex spree, she said that it was an exaggeration by the media. "Paul's Place is a pub so it does sell drinks, but only a few of those attending the gig drank. In fact, they even complained about the poor sales of drinks when renting out the place for 'straight edge' bands to perform," she said.

Representatives of the concert's organisers backed her statement and asserted that such music gatherings were no different from "Akademi Fantasia".

If the authorities wanted to bust a premises where drug-taking and free sex were rampant, they should raid popular night-clubs instead, they said.

Seventy women and 310 men were arrested in the 10:30 p.m. raid. Most were released around 5 am the next day.

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