DJ ‘monk’ not allowed to drop the beat in Singapore, says minister

Marching to his own beat: Youn wearing monk’s robes and performing during an electronic dance music party on May 12. — AFP

An unconventional South Korean DJ “monk” who dispenses Buddhist wisdom and Gen-Z life advice over his thumping beats will be barred from performing in Singapore, the interior minister said.

Youn Sung-ho, who goes by the moniker NewJeansNim, is a comedian-turned-musician. He is credited with reviving Buddhism’s popularity among young South Koreans – even as his performances have ruffled feathers regionally.He had been slated to perform at a nightclub in Singapore, where laws restrict speech or actions viewed as harmful to religious harmony.

“Police have told the nightclub owners that action will be taken if the performance proceeds. They understood our position, and have agreed to cooperate,” K.Shanmugam said on his Facebook page.

“This news has come out on Wesak Day, an unfortunate coincidence. But the Buddhist community, (like other communities) knows that the government will take firm action, in respect of such things,” he added, referring to the holy Buddhist holiday.

The DJ performed earlier this month in Muslim-majority Malaysia, which has a significant Buddhist minority.

But a second gig planned for later in May was cancelled after his performance saw offended local Buddhists file police complaints.

In South Korea, he has the support of fans and the president of the country’s largest Buddhist sect, the Jogye Order, which has urged him to continue, seeing the DJ as a means of attracting new, younger followers. — AFP

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