South Korea's 'monk' DJ ditches robe to avoid Singapore ban


SINGAPORE (AFP): A controversial South Korean DJ "monk" will avoid a ban in Singapore by performing in the city-state without his robe or any religious references, a nightclub hosting him said Thursday.

Youn Sung-ho, who goes by the moniker NewJeansNim, is a comedian-turned-musician credited with reviving Buddhism's popularity among young South Koreans -- even as his performances have ruffled feathers regionally.

With a shaved head, he wears a monk's robe and dispenses Buddhist wisdom and Gen-Z life advice over thumping electronic dance music beats.

He is scheduled to perform next month at a nightclub in Singapore, an ethnically diverse city-state where laws restrict speech or actions viewed as harmful to religious harmony.

But the country's interior minister on Wednesday issued a strong warning to the owners of Club Rich Singapore that police would take action if the performance proceeded based on what the DJ had done elsewhere -- dressing in a monk's robe and using Buddhist verses and religious paraphernalia.

"This would have been offensive to our Buddhist community. This is not acceptable," Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam wrote on Facebook.

On Thursday, the nightclub said that the show would be held as scheduled on June 19 and 20 but without any references to religion.

"There will be no religious performance during the event but we will ensure that you will still have a fun-filled night at Club Rich Singapore," the nightclub said on Facebook.

The Singapore Police Force said in a statement to AFP on Thursday that they had engaged the nightclub's operators and been assured the performance would "not involve any elements associated with religion, be it in the attire, hand gestures, artefacts, songs and lyrics".

The police warned that "any breaches will be dealt with firmly in accordance with the law".

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

But a second gig planned for later this month 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, who has urged him to continue, seeing the DJ as a means of attracting new, younger followers. - AFP

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!

South Korea , Monk , DJ , Ditches , Robe , Perform , Singapore

   

Next In Aseanplus News

Sg Bakap polls: BN to rally support for Pakatan candidate, says Tok Mat
Asean News Headlines at 10pm on Saturday (June 22, 2024)
Runaway golf buggy plunges off second tier of driving range at Singapore's Keppel Club
At least 42 killed in Israeli strikes in Gaza City refugee camp, neighbourhood
Vietnam power generation, daily consumption hit new record high amid heatwave
Thai PM Srettha touts plans for casinos and nuclear power in first TV talk
Indonesian ministry and Bank Syariah commit to global halal hub in Indonesia
Philippines council recommends continuing resupply missions to South China Sea shoal
Vietnam PM Pham to attend WEF meeting of the New Champions in Dalian city next week
Search for four missing fishermen to expand to coastal areas of Tanjung Segenting

Others Also Read