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Long-standing policies barrier to music industry even before Covid-19

SPECIAL REPORT | The lack of adequate government funding and policy barriers are the major challenges facing the local arts industry, several music event organisers told Malaysiakini.

Brian Gomez, the owner of live music venue Merdekarya in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, posted on social media in March urging the local government to return the deposits for entertainment and F&B license holders to ease the burden of businesses reeling under the economic storm caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

For Merdekarya's venue in Bukit Gasing, Petaling Jaya, he claimed the deposit paid amounted to RM12,000 - the equivalent of four-months rent.

According to Brian, this included RM10,000 for the entertainment license and RM2,000 for the cafe and liquor-selling license.

"When we talked to other restaurant owners, they would say...

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