Organisers can stop Malaysia Coldplay concert if band 'misbehaves'

Muslim conservatives have protested against the concert over Coldplay’s support for the LGBTQ+ community.

Organisers can stop Coldplay concert in Malaysia if band ‘misbehaves’ over LGBTQ+ stance PA Media

Coldplay’s concert in Malaysia can be stopped by organisers if the band misbehaves, a minister said, as the government rejected Muslim conservatives’ calls to cancel the show.

Led by the country’s opposition bloc, Muslim conservatives have protested against the concert over Coldplay’s support for the LGBTQ+ community.

Recently, they also pushed for the concert to be halted in solidarity with Palestinians killed in the Israel-Hamas war.

Communication and digital minister Fahmi Fadzil said he does not foresee any problem with Coldplay’s first concert in Malaysia later in the night.

Security has been beefed up for the show that is expected to bring some 75,000 people to a stadium outside Kuala Lumpur.

When asked if a ‘kill switch” to cut off power supply will be used, Mr Fahmi said: “Yes, it’s one of the things we have discussed with the organiser.

“The prime minister has also said the band, you know, is very supportive of Palestine. So, we are upbeat about the concert today,” he added.

Malaysia introduced the kill switch measure recently after a controversy sparked by British band The 1975 in Kuala Lumpur in July.

The band’s lead singer slammed the country’s anti-gay laws and kissed a male bandmate during their performance, sparking a backlash among Muslims and prompting the government to cut short a three-day music festival.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has justified allowing the Coldplay concert, telling Parliament on Tuesday that “Coldplay is actually among the bands that support Palestine”.

Chris Martin
Coldplay’s support for the LGBTQ+ community has sparked protests among Muslim conservatives in Malaysia (AP)

He noted that the previous administration, before he took power in November 2022, had approved the concert. Mr Anwar said pro-Palestinian groups also approached his office in support of the Coldplay concert.

The opposition Islamic party PAS has criticised Mr Anwar’s stance. While Coldplay supports the Palestinian cause, it also encourages hedonism, said its information chief Ahmad Fadhli Shaari.

“This is not about whether they purely support the Palestinian cause or not, but the issue of hedonism culture that they bring to our community,” he said in Parliament.

PAS, which has expanded its influence following strong Muslim support in the 2022 elections, often protests against concerts by international artists that it said were incompatible with Muslim values.

Concert organiser Live Nation Malaysia issued a statement to concert-goers a few days ago, reminding them to be “mindful of local cultures and sensitivities” and refrain from displaying props or items that may cause discomfort to others.

Police have warned the public to refrain from any sort of provocation and inciting unrest at the concert, which is part of Coldplay’s Music of the Spheres World Tour.

Coldplay also met with resistance from Muslims when they performed in Indonesia earlier this month.

Protesters held rallies right up to the day of its concert, slamming the band as an LGBTQ+ “propagandist” whose stance damages “faith and morals”.

Coldplay is renowned for interlacing its values with its shows, such as the band’s push for environmental sustainability.

Lead singer Chris Martin has been known to wear rainbow colours and wave gay pride flags during performances.

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