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Ex-Minister: Even without SG’s exclusive deal, Taylor Swift unlikely perform in M’sia

Khairy Jamaluddin, former Malaysian Health Minister observes that even without Singapore’s “sharp elbows” to secure the exclusive deal with Taylor Swift, the renowned pop star is unlikely to choose Malaysia as a performance destination.



MALAYSIA: Malaysian former Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin observed that even without Singapore’s “sharp elbows” to secure an exclusive deal with Taylor Swift, the renowned pop star is unlikely to choose Malaysia as a performance destination.

Known for his candid commentary on socio-political matters, Khairy discussed Singapore’s successful acquisition of a six-day exclusive performance deal with Taylor Swift in the latest episode of the ‘Keluar Sekejap’ podcast, alongside former UMNO (The United Malays National Organisation) information chief Shahril Sufian Hamdan.

As a former UMNO Youth chief, Khairy suggesting that Malaysia’s proclivity for turning such matters overly political could be a deterrent to attracting international artists like Taylor Swift.

“Because we (Malaysia), when it comes to things like this, become overly political, ” he said.

In response, Shahril acknowledged concerns raised by several members of the conservative Opposition Party Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (BERSATU) about the missed opportunity in securing the Eras Tour.

“(But) that’s not enough unless it came from PAS (Malaysian Islamic Party) members of parliament… only then we will see big changes,” said Mr Khairy.

Earlier in the discussion, both Shahril and Khairy advocated for Malaysia to adopt Singapore’s strategies in securing concerts by A-list artists and promoting the country’s image.

Shahril emphasized the consistent use of Singapore’s ‘sharp elbows’ in attracting economic opportunities, suggesting that Malaysia could learn from their proactive planning.

“Nothing new about it. That’s a grudging respect I guess, a recognition of how they do this… and they have been consistent about it.”

“During their F1 week, they host many major conferences before and after the event. This is something we can emulate, not exactly in the same way, but with the same spirit of planning ahead without being constrained by a silo mentality,” said Shahril.

Opposition Party points finger at PM Anwar for failing to secure Taylor Swift deal

On Wednesday, Sasha Lyna Abdul Latiff, BERSATU deputy chairman of the legal and constitution bureau, demanded that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh explain the missed economic opportunity related to Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour.

In a statement, Abdul Latiff asserted that communications between the Malaysian government and Swift’s concert promoter had been initiated as early as 2022.

Despite these efforts, Malaysia failed to secure the deal, while neighbouring Singapore successfully locked in the tour.

However, Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Adam Adli Abd Halim countered this claim today in the Dewan Rakyat, stating that the ministry should not bear responsibility for the failure to secure Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, as concerts do not fall under its purview.

Adam Adli clarified that the organization of concerts or performances falls under the jurisdiction of different ministries.

The role of the Youth and Sports Ministry is limited to providing venues or accommodations and facilitating logistical matters, among other responsibilities.

PM Lee: Singapore’s exclusive Swift deal not “unfriendly”

The exclusive deal between Singapore and Taylor Swift came to light when Thai Prime Minister Srettha disclosed the information at a business conference in Bangkok on 15 February.

According to reports, Singapore offered financial incentives to secure Taylor Swift’s exclusive performance, with figures ranging between US$2 million to US$3 million per show, as conveyed by concert organizer Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG).

Minister for Culture, Community, and Youth Edwin Tong, while addressing the Singapore Parliament on 4 March, refuted the accuracy of the figures mentioned, but refused to release exact figures, citing the confidentiality of the agreement details.

He emphasized the initiative’s role in rejuvenating Singapore’s tourism and entertainment sectors post-pandemic.

The deal also sparked reactions from regional representatives, such as Philippine lawmaker Joey Salceda, who critiqued the exclusivity, stating, “Our countries are good friends. That’s why actions like that hurt.”

However, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, during a press conference in Melbourne following the 9th Singapore-Australia Annual Leaders’ Meeting, defended the arrangement as a strategic negotiation, asserting it was not “unfriendly” towards ASEAN neighbours.

PM Lee highlighted, “Our agencies negotiated an arrangement with her to come to Singapore and perform, and to make Singapore her only stop in Southeast Asia.”

“I don’t see that as being unfriendly. Sometimes, one country makes a deal. Sometimes another country does,” he said, adding that the incentives provided to Swift were from Singapore’s Tourism Development Fund to revive the industry after the Covid-19 pandemic.

In response to PM Lee’s statement, Sharil humorously remarked that the “diplomatic” statement seems contradictory, suggesting that Singapore is taking away all the benefits and gaining profits rather than benefiting other countries.

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It seemed that some countries quite jealous over the concert thing as the concert brought great benefit

This is shitgapore strength

A shining mole in SEA

Dont talk about MY

KL , Bangkok , definately can do it .

Sure ok we know

Flavour of the days for spirit-free impressionable young people like hippie craze, beatles mania and gangnam style phenomenon.

Until another new mindless craze appears….

There appears to be a Taylor Swift obsession. I still do not understand the significance.

The mud in Boleh land would regulate Ah Swift cover her head thru out the concert and not expose her groin or else they charge her with their mud Sharia law as stated in their Handbook used also by Hamas for Terrorism !
Would ah Swift want to perform there?😆😆😆😆

This is a singularly Taylor Swift phenomenon. I doubt if there is another artiste who commands that kind of reach. I believe the big hoo haa by other countries will simmer down. And I really doubt if Jakarta will be able to sign any artiste to perform there exclusively because of 2 realities: 1. Artistes will not want to miss a stop like Singapore where revenue can be astronomical 2. There are religious elements in Jakarta who oppose such “hedonistic” acts. Malaysia too have religious extremists who exist to shut Malaysia from such acts. Singapore does not suffer from such… Read more »

Govts serve people and businesses. Taylor is good business and popular everywhere. She is guarantee  to generate revenues but exclusive rights denied economic benefits to others. Admit it, the thunder has been stolen under your noses. The more you explain it any other way, the greater the humiliation. 

Of course that would be unlikely. Malaysia is going back into the stone age clasping on to the 3R’s.
The holier than thou nation wants to use vending machines to sell alcohol and all sorts of gimmicks to look good but can’t even contain kleptocracy from the top to the bottom.