#Onemanprotest highlights Malaysian events industry struggles

The Livescape Group founder Iqbal Ameer has called on the Malaysian government to increase its financial support for the country’s struggling events industry as part of what is being described on social media as a #onemanprotest campaign.

The Livescape Group, one of Southeast Asia’s leading event-management providers, has developed events such as Malaysia’s largest rock festival, Rockaway Festival, as well as the award-winning Future Music Festival Asia and the sea-based IT’S THE SHIP.

During the pandemic, Ameer has taken to social media to highlight what he deems to be an inconsistency in the Malaysian government’s approach.

He posts pictures on Instagram, holding a board stating ‘Save Malaysia Event Industry’ in the midst of one of the country’s busy night markets, which have continued with little restrictions in place. In comparison, there has been a severe clampdown of live events as part of Malaysia’s Conditional Movement Control Order.

“We should be looked differently as we are a creative industry,” he told BFM in an interview.

“The first and most important thing was that the government needed to do was work with keeping these event companies afloat.”

Ameer’s campaign has attracted plenty of support on social media, and he has now urged the government to provide greater support to event operators, having highlighted the approach in Germany as a benchmark.

“In most countries they look at the companies and say, ‘we’ll pay 50% of the overheads’, and then the company pays the staff,” he added.

“But the [Malaysian] government didn’t do it this way. The government started to go direct and give money to people who have lost their jobs.

“It becomes a paycheque for them, but at the end of the day, they don’t have a job so they can’t sustain themselves, so the companies have had to close.”

Image credit: Iqbal Ameer, Instagram