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Tourism Malaysia senior director: Music concert events gateway to revive Malaysian tourism industry

Tourism Malaysia senior director: Music concert events gateway to revive Malaysian tourism industry
South Indian singer and music composer Anirudh Ravichander speaks during a press conference during the launch of his concert trailer at the JW Marriott Hotel, Putrajaya July 19, 2022. — Picture by Devan Manuel

South Indian singer and music composer Anirudh Ravichander speaks during a press conference during the launch of his concert trailer at the JW Marriott Hotel, Putrajaya July 19, 2022. — Picture by Devan Manuel

Sunday, 24 Jul 2022 5:17 PM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, July 24 — Music tourism has now become a massive phenomenon around the world and Malaysia is slowly resuming this tourism product to revive the industry as the country moves to the endemic phase.

Downtown of Kuala Lumpur is the hub for many international music concerts this year especially from India, which include famous South Indian singer and music composer Anirudh Ravichander; Tamil music’s prolific singer, songwriter and composer Yuvanshankar Raja; Indian playback singer Sid Sriram and the sensational singer Pradeep Rangaswamy Kumar.

Tourism Malaysia senior director (Strategic Planning Division) Syed Yahya Othman said entertainment especially concerts are among the elements to promote Malaysia’s tourism after two years hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic since 2020.

“Thus, Tourism Malaysia is supporting all concerts, local and foreign, being held here because the artistes will bring along their followers to Malaysia. So far we have four artistes from India.

“For example, for the upcoming ‘Anirudh’s Once Upon A Time’ music tour, on Sept 17 itself, we will receive three to four charter flights from India and Singapore. We have received concert applications from Indonesian and Korean artistes too,” he told Bernama recently.

Anirudh’s concert will be the first ‘glow in the dark’ concert ever done by an Indian artiste in Malaysia where all attendees will be given programmable LED wristbands designed to create a stunning light show during the event to further enhance the concert experience.

Anirudh said the concert to be held at Axiata Arena, Bukit Jalil has been themed such, taking inspiration from British rock band Coldplay’s previous performances.

“It is not very viable for Indian concerts but I want to give the Tamil music scene a try and my thanks to Tourism Malaysia and MC Entertainment for helping to make it happen now,” the 31-year-old music composer said.

Meanwhile, the organiser for ‘Naan Pradeep Kumar’ concert, Aakar Foundation’s Trustee Mathavan Muniandy, said around 6,000 tickets were sold for the two-day concert on July 23 and 24 at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) Plenary Hall.

He said the response to the concert by the 36-year-old singer had been overwhelming which pushed the organiser to extend the concert for another day as initially it was planned to be a one-day show.

“This concert is to revive the local tourism and also to provide opportunities to people in the local entertainment sector to bounce back after pandemic. Thanks to Tourism Malaysia for supporting, “ he added.

Pradeep’s first step into singing was through the 2010 Tamil movie ‘Enthiran’ in which he sang the tunes of the soundtrack composed by A R Rahman. He also collaborated with music composer Santhosh Narayaan in the movies Attakathi and Pizza in 2013.

On the other hand, Yuvanshankar Raja, the younger son of musician Ilaiyaraaja was delighted with the response to the two-day concert held last weekend (July 16 and 17) at the Axiata Arena and thanked all Malaysian fans.

“I was overwhelmed. #Yuvan25 KL will forever be special.Thank you for the love. You guys are awesome! I love you all,” the composer tweeted in acknowledging the warm response he received from fans during the concert.

It was reported that tickets for veteran Indonesian rock band Dewa concert, which will be held on Sept 9 and 10 at Axiata Arena were also sold out within an hour of release, while Sid Sriram Live in KL 2022 ‘s tickets were sold out for the first day (Aug 20) and after the organiser pushed for a second show (Aug 21) that too was a sell-out.

Tamil veteran music director who has composed over 8,500 songs, Maestro Ilaiyaraaja; Academy Award winning singer AR Rahman and Bollywood superstar Salman Khan are also scheduled to perform in Malaysia this year. — Bernama

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China proposes visits, events to revive India talks

China proposes visits, events to revive India talks

Two years into the military standoff along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, Beijing has reached out to New Delhi to revive bilateral dialogue and set the stage for the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) summit in China later this year.

Beijing has proposed a series of events to kickstart the dialogue, starting with possible high-level visits from both sides.

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To begin with, Beijing has proposed a visit by Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi to India as early as this month. This is to be followed by a reciprocal visit by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. The Chinese side has also proposed a series of high-level visits by its top Politburo members and key officials in President Xi Jinping’s regime.

The Chinese have also proposed an ‘India-China Civilization Dialogue’ to be held in both countries. They have also proposed an India-China Trade and Investment Cooperation Forum and an India-China Film Forum.

But China’s ultimate and clear objective is to host Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the in-person BRICS summit which will be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin as well. China, which also holds the chair for the RIC (Russia-India-China) trilateral this year, could also host the leaders’ summit on the sidelines of the BRICS summit.

In the current circumstances, it is politically difficult for Modi to attend an in-person meeting with Xi — when the border standoff has still not been resolved. Their last face-to-face meeting was in Brazil for the BRICS summit in November 2019. In October 2019, Xi had visited India for an informal summit in Mahabalipuram.

The last BRICS summit to take place in China was in Xiamen in September 2017 which was attended by Modi. In fact, the Doklam border standoff was resolved after two-and-half months, just before the BRICS summit.

This time, by reaching out with a proposed Foreign Minister-level visit, Beijing is signalling that it is keen to bring ties back on track.


A window opens

But on the ground, from New Delhi’s perspective, that’s easier said than done. The standoff in eastern Ladakh began on May 5, 2020 following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas and both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.

As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process on the north and south banks of Pangong Tso in February 2021, and in the Gogra area in August. While troops are still to disengage in two other areas, the broader de-escalation is nowhere near the horizon. The standoff remains unresolved with about 50,000 troops amassed on either side of the LAC.

A potential window of opportunity to unlock the standoff exists: the 14th BRICS summit in 2022 is going to be hosted by China. Just like Doklam border stand-off was resolved days before the summit in September 2017 in Xiamen, officials feel there is a lever to be used.

The timing for beginning the groundwork for the proposed BRICS summit is also significant – Russia is facing a global opprobrium for its war on Ukraine. One of the members of BRICS, Russia will be part of the summit, and standing with the Russian leader will be perceived as an endorsement of sorts.

From Delhi’s calculus, Beijing’s outreach is an opportunity since two years of strained ties has led to the slide of gains made in the last three decades. While India has always maintained that the border situation has adversely impacted bilateral ties, China has insisted that the border dispute should be handled appropriately and the larger picture of bilateral ties should be kept in mind.


This divergence of approach has meant that there have been no bilateral visits, although there have been focussed bilateral meetings between Indian and Chinese Foreign Ministers and Defence Ministers in other countries, perceived to be neutral venues like Russia and Tajikistan. The two sides have also participated in several multilateral summits including virtual summits of BRICS, G-20, SCO among others.

Officials said New Delhi’s approach that three “mutuals” are required to mend strained ties between India and China is key. In January 2021, Jaishankar had described the three “mutuals” as mutual respect, mutual sensitivity and mutual interests and said these were determining factors for ties.