An Egyptian electronic music artist said he was forced to abruptly end his set at a Singapore nightclub Saturday night after management told him that an unlikely D.J. — the son of embattled Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak — would be taking over the stage.
D.J. Fadi was in the D.J. booth at Zouk, one of Singapore’s most institutional clubbing spots, when he told his audience that the club “[wanted] someone else to play,” prompting boos from the crowd. That someone was Norashman Najib, whose father is the head of government in neighboring Malaysia. The South China Morning Post reports that the younger Najib was not on the club’s performance schedule for the night.
“I’ll see you somewhere in the future,” Fadi, who belongs to the popular trance music duo Aly & Fila, told the crowd. “Not in Zouk anymore, because I won’t play in Zouk any f—— more. They’ve insulted me, but I love you guys.”
Zouk’s management has since explained the incident as a misunderstanding, taking to Facebook to say that they did not ask Fadi to end his set early.
“We understand that this incident has resulted in some discontent and disappointment,” the post read.
The story has gone viral in Southeast Asia, perhaps because Najib’s father is currently the subject of a massive corruption scandal that has brought global attention to the decadent lifestyles of Malaysia’s ruling elite. For months, Najib Razak has deflected calls for his resignation after news organizations reported last summer that his personal bank accounts held hundreds of millions of dollars that had possibly been siphoned from a struggling state development fund called 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
In January, Malaysia’s Attorney General dismissed corruption charges levied against Najib. But the 1MDB scandal has brought attention to the material indulgences of Najib’s family, including his wife Rosmah Mansor, famous for appearing in public sporting a collection of luxury handbags, and his stepson Riza Aziz, whose production company funded the making of Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street.
In the aftermath of the incident, Malaysians took to social media to further cluck at the Najib family.
Some have noted an irony to the fact that the son of a conservative Muslim prime minister was spending time in a nightclub.