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Not Everything is About You: Dance Troupe Taking Photos at KLCC Should Learn from Buskers

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If you have friends from Borneo, you may have seen posts sharing the allegations by the blog Borneo Dihati titled “Gara-gara Mengenakan Pakaian Tradisi, Mereka Tidak Dibenarkan Ambil Gambar di Taman KLCC”.

Snapshot of posting by Borneo Dihati. The article is no longer online. Not sure why? Is it because what is said is not exactly true?

The article alleged that this dance troupe, who are taking part in a dance competition at Angkasapuri, had stopped by KLCC Park to “snap photos for memories”, and I’m assuming, with the background of the Twin Towers. However, they claimed they were stopped and told to leave the park by a park security guard.

Cue: Uproar. Accusations of disrespect. Social media posts asking people to “make it viral”.

Before we all get sucked into an ugly debate, and accuse our fellow Malaysians of discrimination, let me share a bit about how things work in a public place, anywhere in the world.

There are few parks or public buildings in this world that allow public performances, professional photography or videography without permission. Permission = written permit / approval from the management of these places.

Everyone who photographs, produces videos, or performs for a living (including buskers), know this. And they respect it.

I mean, look at Sunway Lagoon Park, they have rules, no Abayas or GoPros for example. Are they disrespecting people’s right to wear a dress while going down a slide or to pretend to be outdoor adventurers? No!

Sunway Lagoon Park Rules and Regulations
So, imagine if you are the security detail, and your job is to keep peace, manage the crowds, ensure foot traffic is not interrupted and ensure there are no unsavoury safety elements blending in the many people who frequent a park, and you see a group of people in costume (could be traditional costume, could be Zombies, could be a wedding party), what do you do?

Obviously, the security guard would assume the group is there for some show or performance or taking professional pictures! It doesn’t matter if you are an actual Zombie and that’s how you look every day, if he thinks you may look like you’re about to conduct a public performance and snap photos while you’re at it, they will ask you for a permit. If you don’t have it, they will tell you to get one. And because our Malaysians are kaya dengan budi bahasa, they will even give you the contact for it.

If you have tried to do a photoshoot in a public park, you will know this. At some parks or public buildings, there are even fees, or you will have to attend a safety briefing. They will let you know the do’s and don’ts, let you know which areas are ok and not, what sort of equipment you are using, and some will even provide escorts or security detail for you, to manage the crowd and foot traffic.

This is because, even though you think what you’re doing is not bothering the public, there will always be people who just want to pass by that particular area where you are and hate any traffic “jams” or people blocking their way. Even myself, I remember a shoot at a park and my group being shouted at by cyclists because we are blocking their way.

Buskers know this well. These cheeky fellas are always trying to sneak in their performances at the most unexpected places. Some don’t have permits, so they are there and then when the authorities ask them for permits, they just shrug and leave. That’s how it is.

The guards or security department don’t have a hidden agenda to stop people from conducting public performances or taking pictures at our public buildings or parks. They have no time to discriminate when they have to maintain order and manage the crowds, while at the same time, ensure our safety.

Maybe we all should learn from the buskers, and chill. -MYNEWSHUB.CC

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