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Terengganu, Malaysia

Terengganu : go here for an overview of the state - http://www.hoteltravel.com/malaysia/terengganu/guides/overview.htm

Punk Rock in Terengganu:

The first proper punk rock "scene" in Malaysia started in Terengganu back in 78/79. It started in a the small town of Dungun by a bunch of friends influenced by UK music magazines such as NME, Melody Maker, Sounds and Zig Zag - and also their big brothers and friends in the more "modern" West Coast cities who would passed them the magazines and music.

By late 79, almost every secondary school in the state has their own cliques of punk rockers. They would hang-out on the weekends at the main bus station in the capital city of Kuala Terengganu, with the usual punk rock regalia (badges, studs, safety pins and such). Too poor to afford guitars or any other "band instruments", there were never a punk band but trading of tapes and zines were vigorous.

Most of these coming from friends studying overseas, the friends living in the West Coast cities and also punk rockers from UK, Europe and US who were kind enough to send tapes and zines for free. Irregular trips were made to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur (and Pulau Pinang, but rarely as it's too far) to dub punk rock records at the music stores or buy pirated tapes which were the only source for good music those days.

Some fishing villages would have the most punks and thus became the "centers" of activities. The main two villages were Kampung Mengabang Telipot (an hour north to the city) and also Kampung Tanjung (right at the mouth of the city's river system). In Mengabang Telipot, we had a small library of zines and music where the kids would share. This library is actually a wooden cupboard situated at one of the punk rockers' house.

The first Malaysian punk rock fanzine comes out from this scene. It appeared in 1986 with the title of Huru Hara (meaning "chaos"). written in the Terengganu slang by editor Mamat Hitam but never distributed in a big way. The first fanzine to do that was my own zine (Aedes) which lasted till 1996. The first punk bands to appear there were Mallaria and later The Stone Crows. Both put out one rehearsal/demo tapes.

There was a lull in activity in the mid-80s, but a resurgence of bands of different persuasions appeared by the late 80s and early 90s (fired up in part by the setting up of a larger Malaysian underground music scene based in Kuala Lumpur in 1987). By the mid 90s onwards, there were constantly new bands appearing in the state and now in 2003, there are still a lot of punk-influenced bands and zines active.

for current info on the Terengganu punk rock, go here >>

Terengganu Scene Community : < http://trgscene.cjb.net/ >

>> written by Joe Kidd - 29th June 2003 < http://dungpeople.sevcom.com >

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