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Malaysia Stops Music Festival After Same-Sex Kiss By British Band



Malaysia’s government stopped a music festival in the capital Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, a day after the frontman of British pop rock band ‘The 1975’ kissed a male bandmate onstage and criticised the country’s anti-LGBT laws.

Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil in a Twitter post after meeting the organisers of the Good Vibes Festival, a three-day event set to run until Sunday.

Fadzil said violating the country’s laws would not be tolerated, Reuters reports.

“There will be no compromise against any party that challenges, disparages and violates Malaysian laws,” Fadzil said.

The 1975 have also been banned from performing in Malaysia, said a government committee that oversees filming and performances by foreigners.

Homosexuality is a crime in Muslim-majority Malaysia. Rights groups have warned of growing intolerance against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

In videos posted on social media late on Friday, Healy was seen kissing bassist Ross MacDonald after criticising Malaysia’s stance against homosexuality in a profanity-laden speech to the festival audience.

“I made a mistake. When we were booking shows, I wasn’t looking into it,” he said. “I don’t see the fucking point … of inviting The 1975 to a country and then telling us who we can have sex with.”

Healy later cut short the set, telling the crowd: “All right, we’ve got to go. We just got banned from Kuala Lumpur, I’ll see you later.”

The band could not immediately be reached for comment.

Healy was criticised for kissing a male fan at a 2019 concert in the United Arab Emirates, which also has laws against homosexual acts.

Festival organiser Future Sound Asia apologised for the cancellation of the show following Healy’s “controversial conduct and remarks”.

It said The 1975’s management had promised the band would obey performance guidelines.

“Regrettably, Healy did not honour these assurances,” it said in a statement.

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