Malaysian authorities cancelled a weekend music competition on Saturday after the frontman of a British indie rock group kissed his male bandmate following a tirade in opposition to the nation’s anti-LGBTQ legal guidelines.
Homosexuality is unlawful in Malaysia and legal guidelines criminalising sodomy are punishable by imprisonment.
LGBTQ folks within the nation additionally face common discrimination by authorities.
British rockers The 1975 lower their Friday present on the Good Vibes music competition brief after lead singer Matty Healy slammed Malaysia’s anti-gay legal guidelines in a profanity-filled speech, earlier than kissing bassist Ross MacDonald on stage.
Healy instructed followers the band had considered pulling out of the occasion, saying: “I don’t see the purpose of inviting The 1975 to a rustic after which telling us who we will have intercourse with.”
He later abruptly ended the set, saying: “All proper, we gotta go. We simply received banned from Kuala Lumpur.”
The on-stage protest was not a primary for Healy, who kissed a male fan at a 2019 live performance within the United Arab Emirates, which additionally has robust anti-LGBTQ legal guidelines.
Vowing swift motion early Saturday, Malaysian Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil posted a information report in regards to the kiss and referred to as it a “very impolite act”.
He later ordered the “instant cancellation” of the three-day competition after assembly with organisers.
“By no means contact the sensitivities of the group, particularly these which can be in opposition to the manners and values of the native tradition,” he mentioned in a subsequent tweet.
In a press release additionally posted to Twitter, the competition confirmed the cancellation had been on the path of the communications ministry “following the controversial conduct and remarks made by UK artist Matty Healy”.
“The Ministry has underlined its unwavering stance in opposition to any events that problem, ridicule, or contravene Malaysian legal guidelines,” the assertion added.
The Good Vibes competition was scheduled to run by the weekend, with US band The Strokes set to headline on Sunday.
The episode comes two months after authorities seized over 100 rainbow-coloured, Satisfaction-themed watches from Swiss watchmaker Swatch.
The corporate has since sued the federal government, searching for damages whereas demanding a return of the watches.