Malaysia Creates Concert Kill Switch to Preserve Culture

( – The Malaysian government just passed an unusual measure: every concert held in the country must include a “kill switch” to cut the power during any performance that may violate the official guidelines.

The measure comes in reaction to an incident in Kuala Lumpur in July involving the English pop-rock band “The 1975.” The band’s front-man, Matty Healy, gave a speech on stage during a music festival in which he criticized laws in Malaysia considered homophobic. After his speech, he kissed one of his male bandmates, which resulted in the Malaysian government canceling the entire weekend festival.

Teo Nie Ching, the deputy communications minister, told the lower house of Malaysia’s parliament that all concert organizers are required to have “a kill switch” capable of cutting out the electricity in the middle of “any performance” featuring “any unwanted incident.” She added that “stricter guidelines” will encourage “foreign artists” to “adhere to the local culture.”

The Good Vibes festival, which is where Healy made his controversial statement, is organized by Future Sounds Asia. The company said last week that they haven’t noticed any decline in interest from artists looking to perform in the country since the incident. “After the incident,” the company stated, “artists are even more aware” that they must “adhere” to local regulations.

Previously, Future Sounds Asia said they would pursue legal compensation for damages from the band and asked them to admit liability for the incident. They claim the actions of Healy “tarnished” the musical festival’s reputation. The local Malaysian LGBTQ+ community also expressed concerns that Healy’s actions only cause negative backlash.

The 1975 isn’t the only band upsetting people in Malaysia. Last May, a member of a radical religious party called on the government to cancel a concert by Coldplay, arguing the band encourages “hedonism and perversion” due to the lead singer’s open support of LGBTQ+ causes.

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