Fahmi: International Artistes Must Respect Local Sensitivities & Attires To Perform Here

The Communications and Digital Minister said that while the government does not prevent any international artistes from performing in the country, they must respect customs and moral values of Malaysians.

Cover image via Jabatan Penerangan Malaysia

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International artistes who wish to perform in Malaysia must respect local sensitivities, including keeping in mind their daily attire, according to Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil

Fahmi was answering a question posed by Pasir Mas member of parliament (MP) Ahmad Fadhli Shaari in Dewan Rakyat yesterday, 14 February, during which he added that while the government does not prevent any foreign artistes from performing here, they must respect customs and moral values of Malaysians.

Fadhli, who is the PAS Youth chief, asked what's the government's position on concerts by foreign artistes and if it will establish guidelines for foreign artistes to have their values aligned with local norms.

Last year, he had called for concerts by international artistes to be cancelled, claiming that these concerts spread a "culture of hedonism" and go against "the norms and values of Muslim life" in Malaysia.

Fadhli warned that PAS Youth will not hesitate to mobilise a "nationwide protest" if the call was ignored.

In his written parliamentary reply, Fahmi said concerts by international artistes help in the development of the creative industry as well as contribute to the growth of the local economy.

Fahmi added that every application for concerts will be vetted for any criminal activities or poor image that could cause public anxiety

The vetting process, Fahmi noted, will include checking the applicant's social media followers to assess possible implications, ensuring the artiste's understanding does not conflict with the values and culture of Malaysian society, and the artiste's lifestyle including aspects of their daily attire.

According to Fahmi, the government will also review the organising process of previous concerts.

Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil in Dewan Rakyat yesterday, 14 February.

Image via Fahmi Fadzil (Facebook)

He said that the Central Agency for Application for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artistes (PUSPAL) places great emphasis on the elements related to community sensitivities and Eastern customs as well as national security when reviewing concert applications

"All conditions must be complied with by the organisers and any non-compliance or violation of conditions during the event may be subject to administrative action as stated in PUSPAL guidelines," Fahmi noted.

He said that with the establishment of PUSPAL, the cabinet created guidelines in 2002 and they are currently being enforced. To date, the guidelines have been amended and printed five times.

Fadhli, in his warning last year, claimed that continuously organising concerts was "crazy work" that would only invite the "wrath of Allah":

A number of international artistes are coming to Malaysia this year:

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