The New Year Raid: 4 held to be charged on Tuesday
from Peter Brown:
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 pm took all the equipment away, Paul’s, the show organisers – sound system, lights, amps, recorder and mixer. They even came with a TV 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 am. 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 various restaurants dotted around the area.
However the 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 gathering (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 anyone 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 morning. 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)
Paul’s Place 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 this country and want a period entertainment licence (ie a year’s “blanket” licence) then:
1. You have to have a liquor licence
2. You 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 like some buskers last month. Why should music be so inextricably bound up with the drinking of alcohol? The authorities ought to be supporting 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.