The Malaysian government has cancelled a music festival after British indie band The 1975 criticised anti-LGBT laws and kissed each other during a show.
Singer Matty Healy told the audience at the ‘Good Vibes’ festival in Sepang that the band’s appearance was a “mistake”.
“When we were booking shows, I wasn’t looking into it,” Mr Healy said.
“I don’t see the f***ing point, right, I do not see the point of inviting The 1975 to a country and then telling us who we can have sex with. I am sorry if that offends you and you’re religious… but your government are a bunch of f***ing r***rds and I don’t care anymore. I’m not in the f***ing mood.”
He added: “Unfortunately you don’t get a set of loads of uplifting songs because I’m f***ing furious.
“And that’s not fair on you, because you’re not representative of your government. Because you’re young people, and I’m sure a lot of you are gay and progressive and cool.”
Mr Healy, 34, then shared a long kiss with his bassist Ross McDonald which prompted both cheers and boos from the crowd.
Malaysia has some of the most repressive anti-LGBT laws in the world. Sex between people of the same gender can be punishable by up to 20 years in prison and mandatory whipping.
The government also funds retreats that aim to ‘rehabilitate’ LGBT people, according to Human Rights Watch.
Shortly after the on-stage kiss, The 1975’s show was cut short and the government later announced the entire festival has been cancelled.
Fahmi Fadzil, Digital and Communications Minister, posted an image of an emergency meeting with Future Sounds Asia, the organisers of Good Vibes Festival, on his official Twitter account last night.
He said the meeting was called as a result of “the very rude actions and statements displayed by UK artist ‘The 1975’ in Sepang last night.”
“I want to stress, the position of the Unity Government is very clear,” Mr Fadzil wrote.
“There is no compromise against any party that challenges, disparages and violates Malaysian laws.
“Therefore, I have ordered the IMMEDIATE CANCELLATION of the remainder of the festival which was supposed to take place today until tomorrow, July 23.
“I understand this decision will have implications for the audience who have purchased tickets. Accordingly, I have also urged the organizers to identify a compensation mechanism for ticket buyers.
“The government is always committed to supporting the development of creative industries and freedom of expression.
“However, never touch the sensitivities of the community, especially those that are against the manners and values of the local culture.”