Puspal suggests KLPac forged ballet permit application
KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 — Government officials alleged today the KL Performing Arts Centre (KLPac) may have forged documents to prove it applied for permission to host a Singapore ballet troupe that had reportedly been barred because of “indecent” costumes.
A Cabinet minister had denied yesterday that the Singapore ballet group had been barred, while blaming organisers for failing to apply for a permit on time. The row has embarrassed officials and sparked concerns about their increasingly conservative attitude to the point of taking offence with the tutus worn by ballet dancers.
The Central Agency for the Application for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artistes (Puspal) said today that checks with the Visa, Passes and Permits Division of the Immigration Department found the documents’ authenticity to be “doubtful.”
It said in a statement that the serial number on the acknowledgment receipt of KLPac’s application was the same as one produced two years ago and insisted an official request was only made on Wednesday.
KLPac, a performance centre run by infrastructure conglomerate YTL, sent copies of its permit application for the Singapore Dance Theatre’s performance to Puspal yesterday as proof that it had submitted the necessary papers a month ago.
Its group theatre manager Ian Chow said the documents were faxed to Puspal director Ali Sadikin Sadin, who is also a principal assistant secretary in the Information, Communications and Culture Ministry.
Chow said the documents included the original application made on March 7 as well as an acknowledgment slip from the agency dated the same day.
“We maintain that we submitted the application on time but we remain committed to resolving this issue amicably,” he told The Malaysian Insider.
It is understood that Puspal will carry out an internal probe into the matter based on the documents submitted.
Puspal has denied receiving an application for the performance by the Singapore Dance Theatre, which was earlier scheduled for this weekend but has since been cancelled, prior to this week.
The performing arts centre has insisted that its production manager Freddy Tan submitted the application a month ago before being advised by an officer that the permit had been denied over “costumes” and “foreign performers”.
The Malaysian Insider reported on Wednesday that the ballet troupe had been refused a permit to perform here this weekend owing to their “indecent” costumes.
Organisers were eventually forced to cancel the “Ballet Illuminations” performance in Malaysia which had been scheduled for this weekend.
Culture Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim insisted yesterday morning that the government did not reject an application and added that he “loves all forms of the arts and theatre” including ballet, and urged organisers to proceed with the performance.