by Afiq Harraz
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Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital, Teo Nie Ching at the Dewan Rakyat proposing kill switch for concerts featuring foreign artists

Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital, Teo Nie Ching proposes a ‘Kill Switch’ to ensure no repeat of The 1975 incident when answering a question at the Dewan Rakyat earlier. Photo: BERNAMA

The Ministry of Communications and Digital (KKD) has urged organizers of concerts featuring foreign artists to implement a ‘Kill Switch’ to prevent a recurrence of incidents like the one involving The 1975 at the Good Vibes Festival 2023. Deputy Minister Teo Nie Ching emphasized the importance of this kill switch, which serves the purpose of promptly halting a concert by cutting off the power supply, thereby preventing the event from proceeding further.

She stated, “These guidelines have emerged as a response to the previous incident involving The 1975. With stricter regulations in place, our aim at KKD is to ensure that performances by foreign artists align with Malaysia’s cultural norms.”

The kill switch idea was brought up during a question and answer session at the Dewan Rakyat, where Teo Nie Ching was responding to a supplementary query by Zulkifli Ismail (PN-Jasin). Zulkifli sought to understand the government’s initiatives to enhance censorship and manage groups like The 1975, who allegedly engaged in inappropriate behavior that could influence the younger generation, as well as the actions taken against the group for their continued criticism of Malaysia during concerts abroad.

Teo Nie Ching also highlighted the ongoing collaboration between her ministry and the Royal Malaysia Police in vetting the backgrounds of foreign artists to ensure they do not promote negative elements in Malaysia. “In addition,” she continued, “Puspal (Central Agency for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artistes) will ensure the presence of a Puspal committee at the concert venue, along with the police (PDRM) and local authorities (PBT), to closely monitor the event.”

Notably, in a previous incident on July 22, it was reported by the media that The 1975’s performance at the Good Vibes Festival 2023 was abruptly halted. This decision came after the band’s lead vocalist, Matty Healy, engaged in various disrespectful actions in front of the audience. He was accused of holding a bottle of alcohol while on stage and making speeches that were perceived as derogatory towards Malaysian laws, particularly those related to the lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders. – BERNAMA

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