Msia: All heated up over Coldplay

PAS’ opposition to the upcoming concert by world-renowned British band Coldplay in Malaysia has stoked fresh controversy.

R. Sekaran and Junaid Ibrahim

R. Sekaran and Junaid Ibrahim

The Star


May 12, 2023

KUALA LUMPUR – PAS’ opposition to the upcoming concert by world-renowned British band Coldplay in Malaysia merely reflects its ignorance of Malaysia’s multiracial society, says an academician.

“It’s a typical PAS response, straight from its playbook – it is the same when they opposed the Bon Odori festival and Octoberfest,” said Prof Dr Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi of UCSI University.

“PAS is trying to score points with its political base with the state elections approaching,” he added.

He said the Islamist party has always had its own “set of rules” when dealing with concerts and festivals, claiming to be the sole authority on the halal (permissible) and haram (forbidden).

“A simple rule is that if you don’t like it, don’t go; but PAS has no right to deny the staging of the concert as we live in a multiracial society, which needs to be respected.

“Concerts are a form of art. Islam has its own moral code of what is right and wrong,” said Prof Mohd Tajuddin.

Bangi MP Syahredzan Johan also believes that the call by PAS to cancel the concert is a move to increase its appeal to its base in view of the coming state elections.

“The issue (of PAS wanting the concert cancelled) does not arise as every performer would need to conform to the guidelines set by the authorities, which is the norm for all concerts performed in Malaysia.

“PAS is merely appealing to its base with the coming state elections and it has got nothing to do with religion.

“Coldplay is known around the world not only for their music but also for their humanitarian work in many countries,” he added.

Syahredzan also said PAS has no right to deny Malaysians who are looking forward to the concert.On Wednesday, PAS central working committee member Nasrudin Hassan questioned the government’s intention in allowing Coldplay to perform in Malaysia.

In the spotlight: Coldplay is set to perform on Nov 22 at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium. It is the band’s first concert in Malaysia.

“Does the government want to foster hedonism and perverse culture in the country?” he said in a post on Facebook.

Nasrudin also posted side-by-side pictures of Coldplay allegedly promoting the LGBT community at their London concert and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s tweet welcoming the group to Kuala Lumpur.

Anwar also posted another video on his official Facebook welcoming their work for the environment.

The British band will perform for the first time at Stadium Bukit Jalil in November as part of their Music of the Spheres World Tour.

In Putrajaya, Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming said having opposing views should not be a reason to stop others from enjoying performances by artistes.

He added that Coldplay’s inclusion of Kuala Lumpur in their world tour would have a significant impact on the local economy and tourism.

“We welcome Coldplay to come and perform here and not only them – perhaps Adele or even Taylor Swift. It’s not just a performance, (their presence) will stimulate our economy,” he said at his ministry’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house.

Nga said PAS’ “ancient” views are not appropriate for the multicultural society in Malaysia.

“So to PAS – if you don’t like Coldplay, don’t buy the tickets. Don’t stop others from enjoying their performance. If you don’t want to watch, close your eyes,” he said.

Nga noted that Coldplay had sponsored a boat to remove plastic rubbish from the Klang River in 2021. The watercraft, called Interceptor 005, was designed by the Dutch non-profit The Ocean Cleanup.

It was the second such craft to be deployed to Malaysia after the first one was received in August 2019.

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