What’s not cool and unusual – 1st May 2008

bad news is that daighila got pulled by immigration in melbourne and sent straight back home to malaysia.  we’ve had no contact with them so don’t know the details for sure but basically their tour isn’t happening, except to say that we’ll try and still have the shows with local bands and all proceeds being sent to the band to help with their expenses.  we’ve tried to pull down everything online about the tour as we’re certain immigration will be persuing the issue.

ok – for sydney this means sunday afternoon at dirty shirlows is cancelled.  we’re still planning to go ahead with thursday may 8th at 34 murray street with an amalgamation of the line ups.  please come and check it out and donate as much as you can.  the band have probably lost in the region of $6,000 and having to quit their jobs to come here they will be desperately short of money (plus not being allowed back here for 5 years).

23rd May 2021 – I always warned bands about the best way to get through immigration in Australia due to it’s draconian rules about earning money and tax avoidance – doing things legally involves copious amounts of paperwork and a fee that would never be recovered for the types of artists I worked with. So, never fly into Perth or Adelaide and never arrive in the evening – always try to arrive as early as possible – that’s when it’s the busiest as most airports don’t allow flights to land until 6am usually. If you can, arrange a sound engineer with a story that the band is here to record at their studio (essentially indicating that they are employing the services of Australians). Never tell them the correct name of your band as smart officials will net search for show listings. Have a person ready at the airport with exactly the same story as the band. In the case of Daighila, they flew into Melbourne arriving in the evening and it seems that they were actually pulled up with a couple of other people on their flight and those people were entering illegally to work and it was just bad luck that the four guys in Daighila were assumed to be with them. I was in Sydney at the time – I hadn’t organised the tour but just the Sydney shows. We couldn’t talk with the band and on that evening we had no idea what was happening with them. They were flown back to Kuala Lumpur the next morning, now jobless and thousands of dollars out of pocket. The story made national radio, for which I was interviewed outside the benefit show at Louies. We managed to raise $370 for them that night. I am still close friends with 3 of the guys in the band and try to see them whenever I visit Kuala Lumpur.

13th June 2021 – While looking around for other things I came across this article (written by Nick from the band McClane, who I actually listened to today, just by chance, though wondering why I had sold all the copies I had of their demo and never keeping one for myself) which includes a message from Daighila originally posted on MySpace and some lively discussion in the comments section. It is amazing to see how upbeat and positive the band where despite the shitty situation. Taken from the Canberra based Riot Act page:

However, thanks to our friends in the Immigration department, the band was detained in Melbourne and interrogated for 6 hours about their work intentions in Australia. The following is a message from the band that was posted on their myspace.

Dear friends…yes, we were sent back home from Melbourne by the Australian Immigration after being separated and interrogated for 6 hours and after being detained in their detention centre for another 24 hours. They ‘assumed’ that we came to find jobs and become illegal workers. Despite the lack of proof to convict us and the fact that we’ve already booked a ticket back from Brisbane, they insisted that we allegedly came to find jobs like the other groups of Malaysians who were detained prior before we arrived. They also say they believe we came here to work because we carry small amounts of cash in our wallets. But we explained it was a safety precaution and we had a bank account with sufficient money in it. We even presented our bank card. We also presented proofs that we have stable lives in Malaysia. But it was all ignored. Alas, they cancelled our visas with the reason that we couldn’t convince who they called the ‘decision maker’ (whoever that was…) that we were actual tourists and we could support ourselves during our stay in Australia. As a last resort we gave them our friend Juzzy’s number who organized our tour. They called and told him that we explained he was going to find us jobs and they then told us that Juzzy explained he’s going to find us jobs! Clearly they tried to provoke us to admit that we came to Australia to find work. We demanded a phone call but they said, “You can only call Malaysian Embassy, but nobody would probably answer because it’s already late.” We still demanded that call and they say we can call after the interrogation but unfortunately, we were never given the chance to call. It was absurd and even the staff of the detention centre couldn’t believe what just happened to us. But they say things like this always occur….even Kris Dayanti was sent back without a reason once…hahaha. We took our chances, rolled the dice and got a little unfortunate, I guess.

Although we didn’t make the tour, but we did make new friends at the detention centre. If any of our new Malaysian friends in the detention centre is reading this, never give up!! To my Israelian roommate, thank you for watching over us. You never did give us your name. =(

We would like to show our deepest appreciation and gratitude to Juzzy, Shaun, Alex, Lena, Yeap, Lawrence and all our Australian friends who’s helped, waited, tried calling us, tried to let us out and everything…..we all did our best. And not forgetting our Malaysian friends who supported us, sent us, and picked us up at the airport. We really appreciate everything.

After all that had happened, whether it’s a case of discrimination, racism, or tyranny, we still believe in global DIY connection and friendship because no ones to blame but the discriminating system we are forced to submit to. Yet, we will never give up. ”

Thankfully no one was imprisoned, however a lot of people organising the shows around the country and Diaghila themselves were left out of pocket due to the shows not continuing. A benefit show will be conducted next weekend, more details soon.


some good news if you want to party tho:

Name:   Iceland Warehouse Party
Time and PlaceStart Time:       Saturday, May 3, 2008 at 10:00pm
End Time:       Sunday, May 4, 2008 at 6:00am

Location:       Iceland Squat
Street: 2-8 Weston Street
City/Town:      Balmain, Australia

The Iceland warehouse squat in Balmain is notorious for it’s great parties! Sadly it’s all gonna end as the site will soon be re-developed. So the squatters are going out with a bang with an all-weekend festival of fun this weekend.
There’ll be DJs, bands and lots of live performances.

Come down earlier and have a drink and a dance if you wanna, or rock up late after you’ve finished your fun elsewhere.

++  i’ll either be at these events or wishing i was there  ++

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