Melaka nightclub invites controversial Korean DJ to perform

Korean DJ NewJeansNim has been invited to perform at a nightclub in Melaka by the end of this month.

He is sometimes known as DJ Bbaku or Bbakoo. 

Recently the Korean DJ has sparked outrage after performing at a nightclub named Gemu Club KL on 3 May, while dressing as a monk. 

The nightclub that he will be performing at is Bliss Melaka nightclub located in Plaza Mahkota, Melaka.

According to a poster posted by Bliss Melaka last night, he will be performing at Bliss Melaka nightclub in Melaka on the 31 May. 

The Korean DJ will be making a second appearance at Gemu Club KL on  May 21, according to Gemu Club KL’s Instagram.

However, later Gemu Club decided to cancel the performance. 

“We want to reassure our patrons that their support and feedback are invaluable to us.

“We recognise that many of our patrons have expressed their desire for the show to proceed as planned. And with that, we deeply appreciate their understanding and continued support.

“That said, after careful consideration and in the interest of social harmony, we have made a difficult decision to cancel the show. This decision was made with the well-being and interest of our patrons and communities in mind,” written in the Gemu Club KL Instagram post. 

YBAM’s first strike

Yesterday, the Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia (YBAM) issued a statement condemning the Korean DJ for donning monk attire during his performance at Gemu Club KL on May 3.

“Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia (YBAM) calls on all walks of life, be them operators of entertainment sites, content creators, online and offline service and product vendors, and others, to consider race, religion and royal (3R) factors and avoid arrangement and launching of content and products that touch the sensitivities of 3R,” said Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia General-Secretary Eow Shiang Yen. 

“YBAM opines that it is inappropriate for the impersonation of Sangha members, one of the components of Triple Gem, in performances related to Buddhist rituals in the entertainment venues such as dance halls,” Eow added in the statement. 

The statement explained that the Triple Gem is the core of the teaching of Buddhism and realisation of Dharma. 

The Sangha refers to a community of monks, nuns, and other special members who dedicate their lives to Buddhism, focusing on spiritual growth and finding enlightenment.

Eow also said that the dance club set contains elements that potentially cause violation of the Five Precepts, including alcoholic beverages and raving content. 

“Such an arrangement will not only affect the solemnity of Buddhism but may also confuse the public about the true meaning of Buddhist rituals, such as chanting sutras and holding palms together. 

“The public may also misunderstand the precepts that Sangha members need to observe and develop wrong interpretations of Buddhist practice,” Eow said. 

MCA doubles down

Subsequently, MCA president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong has backed calls by Buddhist organisations to ban a Korean DJ from performing in Malaysia again 

“I agree with the Young Buddhist Association Malaysia (YBAM) and Fo Guang Shan Malaysia which have called for action to be taken by the authorities to ban a DJ from Korea from performing again at a dance club in Kuala Lumpur.

“The popular Korean DJ has angered the Buddhist community in Malaysia when he “disguised” himself as a Buddhist monk and performed at a dance club, which gives a wrong perception of Buddhist values and teachings,” Wee said in a statement yesterday, reported NST. 

In the statement, Wee mentioned that the Korean DJ’s controversial acts have hurt the feelings of the Buddhist community.

The Buddhist community will celebrate Wesak Day on 22 May this year. 

Wee has urged the government to prevent the DJ’s entry into Malaysia.

The Korean DJ was scheduled to perform at a nightclub on May 21.

“I appeal to the Home Ministry to instruct the Malaysian Immigration Department, the police and the Puspal secretariat (Central Agency for Application for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artistes) to prevent the entry of the DJ into Malaysia in order to respect the sanctity of Buddhism and preserve religious harmony in Malaysia,” he said. 

Wee stated that if the DJ had not dressed as a Buddhist monk or provoked religious sensitivity, the Buddhist community would not have any intentions to block the performance of any artists. 

On 8 May, the Selangor state agency for non-Muslim places of worship assistance system (Limas) special committee also condemned the Korean DJ NewJeansNim, stating that it goes against Buddhist teachings and that nightclubs in Selangor are not permitted to host such performances, reported Kwong Wah Daily. 

Fo Guang Shan’s third whammy

Venerable Jue Cheng of Fo Guang Shan chief abbess for Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia, issued a statement yesterday, expressing disapproval of performers at a nightclub dressing as monks and engaging in wild dances with wooden fish. 

Fo Guang Shan (FGS) is an international Chinese Mahāyāna Buddhist organisation. 

He urged organisers to respect religion and understand its sensitivity, advising against such entertainment that undermines the solemnity of Buddhism. Ven. 

Jue Cheng said Buddhism encourages inclusivity and non-interference with others’ freedoms but stated that such actions have crossed the bottom line of Buddhism, said Oriental Daily.

He questioned why the Central Agency for Application for Filming and Performance (Puspal)  allowed such performance to occur.

Performance application not approved

Today Puspal stated that it had received an application regarding the Korean DJ’s second appearance at Gemu Club KL on May 21, but the application had not yet been approved. 

However, before the application was approved, the organisers announced the cancellation of the event last night.

As for the performance on May 31 at a nightclub in Malacca, according to Puspal, no application has been received yet.

Sources informed Sin Chew Daily that the Malacca event may also be cancelled.

Regarding the performance of the Korean DJ in Malaysia on 3 May, PUSPAL stated that the application was submitted online by the organizer “OPHELIA MALAYSIA SDN BHD” through the ePUSPAL system on April 23, 2024. 

The application titled “DJ BBAKU LIVE IN GEMU CLUB, KL” specified the performance dates as May 3 to 4, with DJ BBAKU as the performer. This application was approved during the JK-PUSPAL meeting on 30 April. 

Latest update – Bliss Melaka announced on their Facebook page that the event has been canceled. They mentioned that an official statement will follow soon.