Malaysian band Bunkface recently released a new song that tells LGBTQ people to die. The song, somehow, is still up on Youtube and is being called an ‘extremist anthem’. The song is called “Akhir Zaman”, which can be translated to “the end of times”. “LGBT pergi mampus” which is present in the song, when translated, is “go to hell, LGBT” or “go die LGBT”.
Social media enrage over Malaysian band’s stance
The Malaysian band has won multiple awards in the past and was also one of the first Malaysian bands to enter the punk-rock scene in the country. Several social media users have denounced the band’s music and have also stated that they are not worthy of the ‘punk-rock’ genre. One such user, Michelle Yesudas tweeted:
@bunkfaceband it is NOT punk to target LGBT people. Ridicule and invisibility will cost lives. You are not punk. You’re no better than any Nazi fascist band, please rebrand. LGBT people are not your ping pong balls to score points with Malaysians.
Another user, Annatasha chimed in with:
Y’all, imagine going to a Bunkface concert now? And not feeling safe? I can see it’s about to be the extremist anthem. And imagine being in a crowd to people telling your community “Boleh pergi mampus”? Fuck that.
User Zurairi A.R. tweeted out:
Ok I thought this was just a joke, but pop punk band @bunkfaceband just released a supposedly rebellious song #AkhirZaman with lyrics like “mana pergi semua duit rakyat” but ALSO “LGBT pergi mampus”. This is malicious for a band of its popularity. Screencap of its lyrics MV:
Numan Afifi, President of Malaysian LGBT rights organization Pelangi Campaign, tweeted:
This song promotes homophobia & violence against LGBTQ people. Please report the video on youtube.
The tweet also had step-by-step instructions listed, so that users looking to report the video could do so easily.
The Malaysian band’s members state that they “need protection from slander”
The band recently posted an update on their Youtube video. The update was translated and states: “We would like to thank everyone who has always supported Bunkface’s work, may we all be protected from slander this time god willing.”
This update elicited a response from a few anti-LGBTQ people who were eager to support the popular band’s recent stance. On the music video, a few such homophobic comments are very evident. One such comment stated that LGBTQ people are “obviously against the law of nature” and another comment informed the band that they were doing great work and told the band to keep up their “struggle”.
A tweet in support of the band reads: “You guys are damn loud but I’ll say louder bro. Plus I love seeing those triggered idiots. Yall the best.”
The band has also retweeted fan support for the song and responded to the controversy on Twitter. The band posted the message, “Are you angry? Don’t get mad” along with the song’s title as a hashtag.
The LGBTQ+ situation in Malaysia
Though a lot of people from the LGBTQ+ community in Malaysia have joined forces and reported the song, there is still a lot of worry over the community’s situation in the nation.
Queer Lapis, a popular Malaysian LGBTQ+ site, talked about the ongoing situation and offered some advice. The site said, “Our tech overlords, which include YouTube, typically have so-called “impartial” community guidelines that enable a lot of anti-LGBT and hateful content to fester. However, mass reporting is often an effective strategy, used on both sides of the political divide, to take down offensive content.”
The song is still available on streaming platforms despite their best efforts.
Addressing the current LGBTQ+ climate in Malaysia, the site further added, “With a climate that is increasingly unsafe for LGBTQ people, the last thing the community needs is more hateful messages directed at them. Blaming social anxiety and economic problems on people who are already marginalized is shallow and dangerous. It might even prove popular as it taps into existing misunderstandings of LGBT people and fans the hatred further.”
Of course, there’s politics involved
A popular Malaysian news site, World of Buzz saw this as an opportunity and talked about Malaysia’s political situation. The site also criticized the band in the same statement and said: “During Malaysia’s political turmoil at the top, an angry protest song might seem timely. But for Bunkface, this rage isn’t just directed at corruption and the political elites, but also the LGBT community, which is an odd and unfortunate inclusion, to say the least. The inclusion of pseudo-religious lyrics and commentary on ‘current affairs’ reeks of something incredibly dangerous – an outdated band willing to do ANYTHING to stay relevant.”
It is still yet to be seen if the song will be taken off of streaming websites or if the LGBTQ+ situation in Malaysia will improve. Let’s keep our fingers crossed just in case.