MALAYSIA — (07-30-23) — British band The 1975 cancelled their shows in Liberal Taiwan and Muslim-majority Indonesia, after Malaysia stopped the group in the middle of their set after lead singer Matty Healy gave a passionate kiss to his male bandmate.

In a statement released by the British Band on Sunday, the indie-rock group said, “Due to current circumstances, it is impossible to proceed with the scheduled shows.”

The Malaysian government halted the Good Vibes music festival in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, last Saturday and barred The 1975 group after lead singer Matt Healy kissed the band’s bassist, Ross MacDonald, on stage the previous night.

Healy also gave a profanity-laden speech that criticized the government’s stance against the LGBTQ Community.

Unfortunately homosexuality is still a crime in Muslim-majority Malaysia and rights groups including the Human Rights Campaign, have warned of growing intolerance and violence against the LGBTQ community.

Fahmi Fadzil, the Malaysian communications and digital minister, slammed Healy’s actions as “very rude” and said, “There will be no compromise with any party that challenges, belittles or violates Malaysian laws.”

The events also angered members of Malaysia’s LGBTQ community, who said Healy’s actions could expose LGBTQ people to more stigma and discrimination.

The 1975 was due to perform on Sunday in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, where homosexuality is a taboo subject, though not illegal except in Aceh province governed by Muslim law.

While the cancellation of the Jakarta show is self apparent, it is still not clear as to why the British band cancelled its July 25 show in Taiwan, especially when the country has a proud reputation as a bastion of LGBTQ rights and liberalism, including allowing same-sex marriage as of 2019.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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