After the horrors of Christchurch and Sri Lanka, a group of celebrities are standing together for love at Malaysia’s first-ever ‘Kindness Concert’.
MALAYSIAN rock band Kyoto Protocol has performed hundreds of times, but never at a concert with a cause like this – to stand against growing hate and intolerance, with love and compassion.
“A society that cannot be kind to one another is a society that falls apart,” said Kyoto Protocol lead singer Fuad Alhabshi.
“We Malaysians come from a culture of sopan santun (politeness) and I would hate to see that disappear.”
The popular band will be headlining the #StandTogether Kindness Concert on May 4 at Setia City Convention Centre 2, alongside some of Malaysia’s biggest acts, including comedian Harith Iskander, teen sensation Ismail Izzani, rapper Rabbit Mac, and The Venopian Solitude.
“I’ve never performed for a cause like this, but I believe the coming together at this kindness festival is a great, great initiative,” said Fuad.
The Kindness Concert is the culmination of this year’s #StandTogether kindness movement, initiated by the award-winning R.AGE team and property developer SP Setia.
#StandTogether started in 2017 as a movement to empower students to make a change, much like the global school strikes inspired by teen climate activist Greta Thunberg.
The students’ brilliant efforts to spread kindness quickly inspired change beyond schools. Nearly 9,000 people registered to support the movement this year, including over 20 prominent Members of Parliament, many of whom called on “the adults” to learn from the students involved.
WATCH: Kyoto Protocol talks about the Kindness Concert
R.AGE deputy executive editor Ian Yee, whose team came up with the idea of the Kindness Concert, hopes the event will show Malaysians how important kindness is, especially in terms of the country’s future.
“My social media timeline today is full of reports that the Sri Lanka bombings were a possible ‘retaliation’ for the Christchurch attack - that’s the digital environment our children are living in today!
Those are the stories they’re reading every single day,” said Yee.
“Hate begets hate. Violence begets violence. The only way we can put an end to it is through love and kindness, and that’s what every person at the Kindness Concert - young and old - will be standing for.”
Singer Ismail Izzani, the youngest performer at the event, hopes the concert will create a wave of positivity that will wash over the country.
“I’ve been through a lot of challenges in the past year, and I’m going to be honest, one of the reasons why I’m still in the music industry today is the #StandTogether campaign. It has inspired me to keep going, one day at a time,” said Ismail, who will be opening the concert with some of his biggest hits, including Sabar.
“I’m really hoping this concert will be what gets people to end hate with kindness, because I want to see the world become a better place.”
WATCH: The Venopian Solitude's exclusive performance for the Kindness Concert
The concert will also be a showcase of the best “Kindness Projects” by students from across the country - in the form of videos produced by R.AGE - and speeches by the students themselves.
They will be supported by the campaign’s celebrity Kindness Ambassadors, including Harith, Lisa Surihani, Jinnyboy, Arwind Kumar, and more, who will also spend time speaking to fans before and after the concert.
The event will culminate with a collective pledge, where the crowd will be asked to lift up the #StandTogether “blue hashtag” symbol on their mobile phones as a commitment to uplift Malaysia - and the rest of the world - through love and kindness.
It might be a small, symbolic gesture, but Harith has a message for all Malaysians - kindness has to start with you.
“In light of recent events, kindness may seem like a drop in the ocean,” he said, referencing the tragedies in Christchurch and Sri Lanka.
“But though that drop may seem insignificant and small, it builds up. We have to combat hate by spreading kindness, and it starts with one small act. It starts with you.”
WATCH: Join the #StandTogether Kindness Concert and end hate through kindness