KARACHI: The youth wing head of the Malaysian opposition party called for a ban of Thursday’s Elton John concert which is to be held in the country’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur.
Nasrudin Hasan Tantawi of Pan-Malaysian Islamic (PAS) party believes that any artist who supports or is involved in homosexuality should not be allowed to perform in Malaysia, as it “can promote wrong values in society and have a negative effect on the youth of the Islamic state.”
A cultural hub of Asia, Malaysia is home to a population of 28 million and soundly carries its Muslim traditions. John is not the only artist to face a ban as other artists in the past have also faced criticism and had their shows cancelled in the country. Pop star Lady Gaga was one of them. She became a victim of protests when her song “Born this way” was banned from airing on radios and her show was cancelled consecutively as it supported the gay and lesbian community. PAS cited that promotion of such artists corrupts the minds of the society and gives a negative perception of Islamic values.
Elton John, the openly-gay British pop icon, has a huge following in Malaysia and will likely bypass the ban as he performed to a sold out concert in 2011, in the same country with a similar protest by the opposition party.
The Asian leg of the icon’s tour has been in the news for more than just his music. A few days ago he agitated the Chinese authorities by dedicating his China concert to the anti-establishment artist Ai Weiwei.
The Malaysian opposition party does not plan to hold street protests, but instead will proceed in a peaceful manner in an attempt to request the proper authorities to take notice of the sensitive issue.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2012