KUALA LUMPUR, July 22 — Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil tonight confirmed his ministry is looking for ways to help the food vendors who lost two days’ worth of business after the Good Vibes Festival (GVF) 2023 was cancelled over a British band’s controversial stunt.
In a brief reply to a tweet asking the public to help out over 20 affected food vendors, Fahmi on Twitter wrote: “My team is in touch, we’re trying to find more ways to assist the vendors.”
The tweet that Fahmi was responding to had contained affected food vendor myBurgerLab’s compilation of a list of other food vendors affected by the GVF cancellation.
In myBurgerLab’s original post on Instagram, the company said all the vendors had spent much money, time and effort for the event and will now try to cut their losses and find a way to lower wastage, also urging the public to look out for the vendors on social media and see if they need any help.
In a series of tweets earlier today at around 1.20pm, Fahmi announced his order for an immediate cancellation of the remainder of the three-day GVF that was initially scheduled to continue today and tomorrow, and said he had also directed the organiser to come up with a compensation mechanism for those who had already bought tickets for the now-cancelled event.
Fahmi said the government is committed to supporting the development of the creative industry and freedom of speech, but cautioned against touching on issues sensitive to society, especially those that go against local customs and cultural values.
This afternoon, the Central Agency for Application for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artistes (Puspal) — which is an agency under the Communications and Digital Ministry — said it had filed a police report and has blacklisted the British band from performing in Malaysia.
The 10th anniversary edition of the music festival that kicked off yesterday was halted when Matty Healy, the frontman of British band The 1975, launched into an expletive-riddled tirade against Malaysia’s laws relating to lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals (LGBT) and kissed the band’s bassist Ross MacDonald.
The stunt, which was widely shared on social media by concertgoers who captured the moment on their smartphones, has sparked intense debate and public backlash.