Foreign Artistes Performing Live In Malaysia Now Need To Comply With Extra Rules

Among the rules include male artistes not being allowed to "cross dress" or dress like a woman when performing in concerts or live shows.

Cover image via Wendy Wei/Pexels

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The Central Agency for Application for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artistes (PUSPAL) has recently revealed a new set of rules required to be followed by foreign artistes who are intending to perform live in Malaysia

In a report released by The Star, these new rules are said to be added to the existing guidelines that are already in place under PUSPAL's authority.

One of the new rules states that male foreign artistes are not allowed to "cross dress" or dress up like a woman when performing in Malaysia for their concert or live show.

Additionally, large-scale concerts and live performances by international acts are not allowed to be held on the night before Islamic public holidays and on the date of such occasions unless it is allowed by the respective Islamic authorities. 

Examples of these Islamic occasions listed in the guidelines include, as sighted by The Star, the entire month of Ramadan, Awal Muharram, Maulidur Rasul, Isra' Mikraj, Nisfy Sya'ban, Nuzul Al-Quran, Hari Raya Aidilfitri, and Hari Raya Aidiladha. The reason behind this guideline is to uphold respect for the religious events.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Wendy Wei/Pexels

While the previous 2019 guidelines did not have restrictions on the eve of these respective occasions, with the exception of the month of Ramadan, the number of "blackout dates" have been reduced in this latest edition of rules

In the previous guidelines, all open concerts by foreign artistes could not be held throughout independence month, from 25 August to 16 September. However, the new rules only state that such large-scale shows cannot be held from 30 to 31 August and from 15 to 16 September.

The updated guidelines also state that male and female foreign acts will not be allowed to remove any clothing during their performance

Aside from that, foreign film crews that record content in Malaysia will also be governed by these new guidelines. One of the new criteria related to filming is that the script of such content must not negatively depict any security or enforcement agency in Malaysia, such as the police or military forces.

The script must also be reviewed by PUSPAL for approval before it can proceed to filming.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Rahul Pandit/Pexels

According to Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzli, the updates were made to protect the sensitivities of everybody in Malaysia

"We have consulted all communities, including Muslims and non-Muslims, in drafting the updated guidelines. At the same time, the guidelines were also amended after receiving feedback from industry players. We agreed to make the guidelines more clearly spelt out so that they can be easily understood," said the minister to The Star.

Fahmi also stated that there would be continued engagement with stakeholders and a second phase of updates will be introduced to the guidelines.

While most of the existing rules were maintained, some new criteria was added with clearer examples. As for when the rules are expected to be enforced, the minister stated that it should be ready by December and be enforced in 2024.

Minister of Communications and Digital, Fahmi Fadzli.

Image via BERNAMA/Harian Metro

Fahmi also stated that the suggestions are to improve the level of concerts and live performances for the audience in Malaysia. 

"We want to spell out standards on what industry players can do to ensure a good experience for concert-goers and spectators, such as by having clean and sufficient toilets, proper seating, and facilities. Malaysia is planning to attract more international stars to hold their shows here, and such measures will be introduced later," he continued.

As for the criteria prohibiting cross dressing for male foreign acts, Fahmi stated that while Malaysia does not discriminate against any international acts coming to the country, these artistes will have to follow the code of conduct and dress code in the guidelines when they perform on stage in Malaysia.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Wendy Wei/Pexels

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