While most of us complain about gaining a few extra pounds over a sinful New Year's Eve celebration or a hangover so legendary that you actually wake up in a wrecked hotel room with a tiger in the toilet, Singapore's Wormrot faced undeserved legal trouble instead.
The band recounted on their Tumblr blog that they were playing a New Year's Eve show in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, when the unfortunate incident happened. While chilling in their hotel, the Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (Selangor Islamic Religious Department) barged in and promptly brought the zealous hammer of Malaysian Islam down on the not-so-Malaysian group of five. Band manager Azean recounts:
"After several questions and telling us that it is wrong for unmarried Muslim men and women to be in one room, they took our passports and we were taken to the police station to give our statements and call someone to bail us."
"[Five] of us were taken into custody. Arif [vocals], Rasyid [guitars], Fit [drums], his girlfriend who is Arif’s little sister and myself. Rasyid’s girlfriend was not taken into custody coz she’s not Muslim and Fiaz [Asilent bassist, with them at the time] was from another room. When we got out of the hotel to be escorted into the police lorry which already has some couples who were caught earlier than us, around 30 – 40 more people from JAIS, passerby and maybe some people from the media took pictures of us as though they had busted the most biggest crime for the night. We were taken to the Taman Muda Police Station and had to sit on the floor to wait for the organizer, Emi, to come and bail us out. Emi arrived at 4am and he had talked to one of the JAIS staff. At around 4.15am, we were taken to another police station as there was no high ranking officer to do up the reports. Again everyone had to be escorted into the lorry to be driven to Pandan Indah Police Station. However, when we arrived there, we were still held in the lorry as the high ranking staff from JAIS have not arrived. At around 5am, when they finally arrived, we thought that we will be taken into the police station for our statements. But… in the end… we were let off with just a warning. We were nearly fined $3000 MYR ($950 USD) per person if Emi did not call his lawyer up and we being Singaporeans. Plus we weren’t doing any sexual intercourse when they entered our room.
"By the time Emi sent us back to our hotel, it was already 5.30am. We were beyond exhausted as we had been awake since 5am the day before, performing and then the hotel drama."
Malaysia's state religion is Islam, and nearly two-thirds of the population practise it. The general culture there is quite similar to Saudi Arabia's, whereby Muslim followers tend to adhere to their doctrine strictly ; which results in a conservative environment that can be pretty stifling for even the average Joe, and what more for extreme metal bands.
Azean concluded the negative episode on a positive note however:
"Please do not think badly of the religion. Every religion is peaceful. Like I’ve said before, in every religion, there’s always some people who are extremists. Don’t condemn the religion just because of these jokers."
"We would like to thank Emi, Tiong, Dyn and all our friends who had given us the best hospitality anyone could ever asked for. And all the grinders who came down for the show to support all the bands. This is the best New Year celebration for us!"
And you know what good might have come out of this? Frontman Arif probably already thought up one or maybe even two new angry songs to write. Oh yeah!