On the 5th of May, Malaysian band Daighila were booked to play a house show in Ainslie with Melbourne act Former Republics and local acts McClane and Condorcet.
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 noone was imprisoned, however alot 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.