M’sian Influencer Offers To Replace Justin Bieber In Upcoming Concert, Chided By Netizens & Fans
Entrepreneur, singer and ex-fiancee to Datin Sri Vida, Ahmad Iqbal Zulkefli has faced backlash for his “insensitive and distasteful” offer to replace Justin Bieber at his upcoming concert here in October.
On Saturday, Bieber disclosed via TikTok that he was forced to abruptly cancel tour dates due to a sudden onset of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, which had left him with partial facial paralysis, completely unable to move the right side of his face.
@justinbieberIMPORTANT PLEASE WATCH. I love you guys and keep me in your prayers♬ original sound – Justin Bieber
Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is a distressing rash that induces paralysis due to a chickenpox or shingles inflammation of a nerve in the head. The condition can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to recover from.
The tragic and unexpected news caused fans to worry for Bieber and grow concerned that the much-anticipated concert may be cancelled if he does not recover by then.
Local news outlet Oh My Media took to Facebook to publish a sympathetic post directed at Bieber, wishing him a speedy recovery.
The controversial cosmetics entrepreneur and singer was quick to respond, jumping at the chance to make a public jest of the matter.
“It’s okay, I’m here to replace him. What song do you want to hear? Write to me quickly, don’t wait until the last minute to share the list with me,” Iqbal joked.
While his ‘offer’ was taken in a lighthearted manner at first, Iqbal went on to say that he will only accept the feat if he was paid more as many fans would ask for his autograph, therefore he would need to purchase a new pen.
He added that he would prefer fans to keep their distance during photographing sessions.
The comments have earned deeply irked responses from fans and netizens, mostly noting that Bieber’s illness was not a joking matter.
Others took harsh digs at Iqbal’s “lack of talent”, and one user even countered his satirical remark by requesting a cover of his ex’s Raya song.
Iqbal had once participated in the Big Stage event where audiences and the jury themselves had publicly concluded that he did not have a flair for singing.
His most infamous controversy, however, occurred during the release of his first single ‘Hujan’, where he allegedly exaggerated details of his brief romance with Vida while he served as her assistant.
The 28-year-old was condemned by Vida herself, as she claimed that his portrayal of their relationship was false and merely a ploy to gain attention and sympathy.
“It would be difficult to find another woman to replace Vida because I still have feelings for her, but I realised she’s not the one for me,” he told reporters at the time.
The pair were meant to wed in December last year, but cancelled their plans a few months prior.