FMFA heat stroke deaths lesson for others to stay hydrated (2.6.15)

SHAH ALAM: The deaths of six youths at the Future Music Festival Asia (FMFA) 2014 last year serves as a lesson to other concert goers to keep themselves hydrated.

Tourism, Environment, Green Technology and Consumer Affairs committee chairman Elizabeth Wong said it was unfortunate that the six victims had died due to heat strokes at the concert and advised other concert participants to drink enough water.

“Audiences participating in the electronic dance music and rave scenes especially should know that they have to drink enough water.

“The other participants at the FMFA 2014 obviously drank enough water that night and it is very unfortunate that the six victims did not. This is a lesson for others,” she told the New Straits Times, after an English-daily front-paged a report revealing that the six had died of heat strokes instead of drug overdoses as the public were led by the police to believe for over a year.

It was reported that those who died had ecstasy in their systems but the levels were lower than the average recreational level of 0.1 to 0.25 microgram per millilitre.

When asked whether the state government will get event organisers to set up notices to remind concert goers to hydrate themselves, Wong said Selangor was not a “nanny state”. However, she did not completely dismiss the suggestion.

“Maybe we will ask organisers to put up signs reminding participants to drink enough water, eat, and do not do drugs. Maybe we have to do that,” she said when contacted.

In an attempt to facilitate the organisation of entertainment events in Selangor, Wong said the state government will be meeting with the industry players this month and in July to discuss how to make the process of concert and event approvals easier.

The whole of Malaysia and not just Klang Valley, she said, had been affected by the stigma of holding concerts here, what with the last minute withdrawal of permit approvals and cancellations of concerts.

“No organiser of such big events would want unclear or grey situations where permits may be withdrawn at the last minute.

“Myself, and Local Government exco Ean Yong, will be sitting together with the industry players to discuss how to facilitate them getting approvals as opposed to us being antagonists,” she said.

Each concert and event would have its own different set of problems, she said, adding that the state’s discussion with the industry players will hope to address these issues.

She stressed that continuous dialogue was needed to ensure that all agencies involved will be clear about their roles.

On March 15, 2014, six FMFA 2014 concert goers, Kamal Zekry Kamal Basha, 21, Victor Wong E. Hern, 25, Sabreena Kamarudin, 21, M. Suresh, 27, Syazana Sohiame, 23 and Nor Faizza Mohd Waxir, 26, appeared to have died from overdosing on drugs at the Bukit Jalil stadium.

Federal Narcotics Department director Datuk Noor Rashid Ibrahim had said a few days later that the victims were believed to have taken a new designer drug which drug syndicates were probably testing in the local market.

The Kuantan Music Festival, initially scheduled a few weeks later on April 4, 2014, was cancelled after receiving strong objections from locals who feared a repeat of what occurred at FMFA 2014.

Thirst: We Are All Stardust 2015 concert, which was supposed to be held on April 25 this year, was cancelled at the eleventh hour after Seri Serdang assemblyman Noor Hanim Ismail, from Pas, sent a letter of objection to the Subang Jaya Municipal Council raising concerns that the concert was allegedly organised by the same organisers as FMFA 2014.

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