Anwar: “I will discuss Coldplay concert with FT mufti as band supports Palestinian cause”

PRIME Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has praised Coldplay for its support of Palestine, following calls from various quarters to cancel the British band’s concert scheduled for tomorrow (Nov 22).

Anwar said such similar concerts were approved by the previous administration and gave assurance that he will discuss the matter with Federal Territories mufti Datuk Luqman Abdullah.

“Coldplay is actually among the bands that support Palestine,” Anwar said during the Prime Minister’s Question Time (PMQT) in the Dewan Rakyat today (Nov 21).

“So, there is a problem here. I’d like to explain here that even past administrations have greenlit [concerts] before.

“I will discuss with the mufti because there are lobbyists from the Palestinian movement who support and give views to the Foreign Ministry and to my office asking why the calls for the groups supporting the Palestinian cause are prohibited from continuing the show.

“Since there are some other issues that we do not agree on, I will discuss that again.”

Anwar was replying to a supplementary question from Machang MP Wan Ahmad Fayshal Wan Ahmad Kamal regarding the government’s stance on the concert.

“Is there a policy or position by the government to ensure that we understand the current situation that is happening today involving Gaza?” Wan Fayhsal queried.

On Saturday (Nov 18), Luqman had called for the Coldplay concert to be called off due to the band’s support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) movement.

In addition, Luqman also called on the public not to support the concert, adding that it would not benefit the society.

“The band is also linked to immoral groups promoting LGBT practices. We advise organisers not to proceed and for the public not to support the programme which is clearly against the values of this country,” Luqman said in a statement on Saturday (Nov 18).

After Coldplay announced that they will be performing in Kuala Lumpur on May, several PAS leaders claimed that the band had an LGBTQ agenda and had opposed the show.

The band’s lead singer Chris Martin has been known to regularly display the rainbow flag often regarded as a symbol of LGBTQ rights during concerts.

Previously, several other parties had also called for the concert to be called off to respect the current situation in Gaza, Palestine, besides raising concerns that an incident similar to that involving the pop rock group known as The 1975 in July may recur.

On July 21 at the Good Vibes Festival (GVF) 2023 concert, British band The 1975 frontman Matt Healy had launched into an expletive-riddled tirade against Malaysia’s LGBT laws before kissing his male bandmate.

Healy also appeared to be drunk during the event, which was cut short by the organisers, while netizens claimed he had spat onstage, damaging a camera drone operated by the GVF crew.

Following the unsavory incident, on July 22, Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil ordered the cancellation of the music festival’s two remaining nights. He also said the band had been blacklisted from performing in Malaysia.

British band Coldplay is scheduled to perform at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium tomorrow (Nov 22) as part of its Music of the Spheres World Tour. – Nov 21, 2023

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