Malaysia halts music festival after same-sex kiss by UK band The 1975

malaysia-halts-music-festival-after-same-sex-kiss-by-uk-band-the-1975
Malaysia halts music festival after same-sex kiss by UK band The 1975

The Malaysian government has put a stop to a music festival in Kuala Lumpur after the lead singer of British band The 1975 kissed a male bandmate on stage and criticized the country’s anti-LGBT laws. Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil stated that there would be no compromise against anyone who challenges or violates Malaysian laws. The government committee responsible for overseeing performances by foreigners has also banned The 1975 from performing in Malaysia. Homosexuality is considered a crime in Malaysia, and rights groups have expressed concerns about the growing intolerance towards the LGBTQ+ community in the country.

Videos circulating on social media showed The 1975’s lead singer, Healy, kissing the bassist after delivering a profanity-laden speech against the Malaysian government’s stance on homosexuality. Healy admitted that the band had considered canceling the show but didn’t want to disappoint their fans in Malaysia. He expressed frustration at being invited to a country and then being told who they can have sex with. Healy later ended the set abruptly, informing the crowd that they had been banned from Kuala Lumpur.

The band has not yet commented on the incident. Healy had previously faced criticism for kissing a male fan during a 2019 concert in the United Arab Emirates, a country that also criminalizes homosexual acts. The organizers of the Good Vibes Festival, where the incident took place, stated that the band’s set was stopped due to non-compliance with local performance guidelines.

Communications Minister Fahmi emphasized that Malaysia supports the development of creative industries and freedom of expression. However, he warned against touching on sensitive issues that go against the traditions and values of the local culture. This incident occurs ahead of crucial regional elections that will see Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s progressive coalition competing against a conservative ethnic-Malay, Muslim alliance. The conservative alliance has accused Anwar’s government of not adequately protecting the rights of Muslims in the multiracial country. Anwar has repeatedly stated that his government upholds Islamic principles and does not recognize LGBT rights.

In May, Malaysian authorities seized watches from Swatch’s “Pride collection,” which celebrates LGBT rights. The incident reflects the ongoing tensions surrounding LGBTQ+ issues in the country.

Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; Editing by William Mallard

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Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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