Malaysia Implements ‘Kill Switch’ for Concerts After Bombshell LGBT Kiss

Regulators stated that the new rule was in direct response to The 1975’s now-infamous onstage kiss

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6:37 PM HKT, Mon November 6, 2023 1 mins read

A new regulation in Malaysia is requiring that concert organizers implement a ‘kill switch’ to immediately cut power and end the show if performers engage in acts deemed inappropriate.

The regulation comes after an incident in July when Matty Healy, frontman of the English band The 1975, criticized Malaysia’s anti-LGBT laws during a festival performance in Kuala Lumpur. Healy then kissed his male bandmate Ross MacDonald in a show of support for LGBT fans, prompting organizers to cancel the remainder of the three-day festival.

After the notorious kiss, the festival took legal action against the band, demanding $2.6 million in compensation. Malaysia has strict laws against homosexuality and public displays of affection between LGBT individuals, and the kill switch regulation is aiming to set a firm example.

“The government has asked concert organizers to cut off electricity supply if there is any unwanted incident during a performance,” said Deputy Communications and Digital Minister Teo Nie Ching. “This is a new guideline after the incident [with The 1975]. We hope with stricter guidelines, foreign artists will respect local culture.”

Concert organizers have welcomed the regulation, believing it will offer legal safeguards without deterring foreign artists from performing in Malaysia. However, some parties questioned whether a kill switch could actually prevent controversy, arguing that any ‘incident’ would be over before event organizers had time to react.

The 1975 incident sparked concerns that foreign artists might avoid performing in Malaysia, but festival organizer Future Sounds Asia reported no decline in interest among international acts, saying instead that foreign artists now better understand Malaysian performance regulations.

Coldplay, too, found itself under the microscope recently — a conservative religious group posted a rallying cry on social media for the cancellation of the band’s concert later this month, arguing that it would promote “a culture of hedonism and perversion.”

The statement was posted alongside photos of lead singer Chris Martin holding a rainbow flag. In response, Martin took the opportunity to do an interview with Malaysian media, stating, “everybody is welcome to our show, we love all people, all kinds of people, all religions.”

Cover image via Unsplash

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