"Keep An Open Mind" — Says Selangor Exco About Concerts By International Artistes In M'sia

"There are times when international artistes are branded as negative (by those who have yet to even) hear them sing or watch them perform," he said.

Cover image via Michael Tran/AFP/Prestige & Bernama/New Straits Times

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A Selangor executive councillor (exco) recently urged Malaysians to keep an open mind when it comes to concerts by international artistes, such as the current six-night Taylor Swift The Eras Tour in Singapore

With Singapore being the sole Southeast Asian country on her tour itinerary, Taylor Swift sold out all six concert nights, drawing thousands of Malaysians and other Southeast Asians.

At a recent state assembly session on Tuesday, 5 March, The Star reported Datuk Ng Suee Lim's response regarding the impact of such events on tourism revenue.

Ng stated that Singapore has undeniably benefitted from concert-goers not only from the country itself but also from other nations.

"Why can't we do the same? This is due to the many obstacles and restrictions arising from narrow mindsets... quick to (link) such acts to negative elements," said Ng.

"There are times when international artistes are branded as negative (by those who have yet to even) hear them sing or watch them perform," he added.

Ng emphasised the importance of stopping the view of such acts as evil and, instead, seeing them as mere forms of entertainment, especially for the younger generation

"Why must we deny and suppress our young this way?

"Of course, as parents, we have to monitor them to a certain extent for their own good. But it is important that we do not cultivate narrow mindsets. In the face of globalisation, we must be logical and rational," he expressed.

Industry experts have also recently explained how the ongoing Taylor Swift concert serves as an expensive lesson for the Malaysian government

Speaking to FMT, Karyawan president Freddie Fernandez said that such concerts will not only boost the economy but also place Malaysia as a must-visit nation in the region.

"With Visit Malaysia Year coming up in 2026, we hope that the Malaysian government will not be left behind and will give its full support and encouragement to efforts to bring in prominent international acts," Fernandez said.

He appealed for parties to stop making demands for concerts to be cancelled or disallowed, as "they don't serve any purpose other than to hinder the growth of the tourism industry and, subsequently, the country's economy".

The audience at Taylor Swift's first concert night in Singapore.

Image via Gaya Chandramohan/CNA

In addition, Jimmy Leong, the president of the Malaysian Tourist Guides Council, said Malaysia faces excessive red tape, unwelcoming political views, and unnecessary rules, including religious ones.

He urged for clearer and consistent policies, advocating for a complete overhaul starting with establishing clear guidelines and standard operating procedures.

Livescape Group chief executive officer, Iqbal Ameer, described losing the opportunity to host Swift as a costly mistake for Malaysia.

He proposed creating an investment council involving the transport and finance ministries, government-linked companies (GLCs), and industry stakeholders. This council would swiftly identify and assess opportunities, expediting their execution.

Syed Saddiq previously expressed the need to stop being so afraid and close-minded when it comes to hosting international acts in Malaysia, as this can greatly impact the economy:

While Malaysia has hosted some international acts over the years, there are still numerous artistes who have chosen to bypass the country for various reasons:

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