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DBKL’s Insane Deposits On Top Of Entertainment Licenses Are Strangling Event Venue Owners


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Source: Angka///sa Event Space | Facebook & Uncle Elmi | Twitter

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For those of you who don’t already know, another live art and event venue, Angkasa Event Space, was raided by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) on July 24 (Sunday) and temporarily shut down due to not having a permit and entertainment license.

Sharing with Getaran, the owner of Angkasa, Mohd Zulhelmie Zullifan (who is also known as Elmi) shared that, in order to reopen the event space, they would have to pay a hefty sum.

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“We are quite disappointed because this is the first time we have made a mistake and DBKL immediately confiscated the event space without giving any warning. After all, we cannot afford entertainment licenses and most of us use hall licenses for events like this.”

“To get Angkasa back, we have to pay a compound of RM50,000. If we appeal, we may only have to pay RM25,000,” he said.

He also explained that entertainment licenses are unreasonably priced, especially for small venue owners as they would have to pay RM50,000 for the deposit and RM27,000 for the process of obtaining the licenses. In total, that’s RM77,000.

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“It’s not that we want to run (from the payment) or do not want to pay, but the amount is huge and unreasonable for an owner of a small event hall. I’m not the only one who feels it, other event space owners also feel this grievance. If RM50,000 has to be paid by a big night club, it might be reasonable. But for us, this is troublesome,”

“From the amount of RM50,000 kept by DBKL, it would be better if we use that money to support the activities of local artists.”

Additionally, taking to his Twitter account, Elmi explained the difficulties of having to obtain such entertainment licenses, including the insane amounts local venue operators have to fork up for individual events at the space.

He wrote, “DBKL says that every gig requires an entertainment license. An entertainment license requires a DBKL deposit of RM30,000. If you want to get the RM30,000 back, you have to wait more than 4 months. I’ve done it before, not that I haven’t. The RM30,000 is not for people within the scene. The amount is huge.”

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This means that if an event space holds multiple gigs a week, they would have to make deposits for each and every one and wait months before they can get the money back.

In his thread, Elmi also explained that the deposit is to ensure that performances are in accordance with regulations.

“This deposit is usually held because they do not want organisers to break the rules. If there are any unwanted incidents, the deposit will be burned. For example: artists undressing on stage, indecent behaviour and so forth,” he added.

Despite being a small, underappreciated community, those involved in the live music and events scene took to social media to show their solidarity, support and love for Elmi and Angkasa Event Space.

Considering how our local musicians and artists barely have enough platforms to showcase their incredible talents, we genuinely hope that the authorities see that spaces such as Angkasa are only there to champion people who could potentially bring the Malaysian scene to new heights.



Also read: This Local Band Wrote & Performed 2 Songs For An American Thriller Movie!

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Source: Uncle Elmi

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