KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 1 — Malaysia’s Islamist Opposition party today called on the Anwar administration to ban artistes who support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from performing in the country, ahead of a much-anticipated concert by Ed Sheeran this month.

The PAS ulama council, known by its Malay abbreviation DUPP, said allowing such artistes to perform just before the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan is insensitive.

“DUPP urges the government to take a firm stand by cancelling the concert by a Western artiste when Muslims are on the verge of Ramadan.

“More saddening is that not only will the organisation of the concert pollute the sanctity of the month of Ramadan which is approaching, but the invited artiste has a background of LGBT ideology which is firmly rejected by Malaysia,” DUPP chief Datuk Ahmad Yahaya said in a statement.


He said the Central Agency for Application for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artistes — which decides whether or not a foreign artiste gets to perform in Malaysia — should impose stricter conditions to ensure no LGBT elements seep in.

“Are we still not aware of the disgusting tragedy by a pro-LGBT group, ‘The 1975’, who performed an indecent scene in front of thousands of spectators in addition to insulting the country’s stance of rejecting the ideology?” he asked, referring to the English group that prematurely ended last year’s Good Vibes concert when its frontman Matt Healy kissed another bandmate and ranted against the Malaysian government on stage.

“As such, DUPP urges the government to never allow the performance of any pro-LGBT Western artiste to respect the glory of the month of Ramadan,” Ahmad added.


British singer-songwriter Sheeran is scheduled to perform at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium on February 24.

This will be his second concert in Malaysia. His first was held at Stadium Putra in Bukit Jalil in 2017.

Yesterday, Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil disclosed that performance applications by foreign artists, including Sheeran, would have already been reviewed by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department before being allowed to perform here.

Fahmi said there are no changes to the approval for now but he asserted that the government will look into the matter according to its current guidelines if the need to revise the approval arises.

The Penang mufti yesterday had asked the government to revoke the permit for Sheeran’s scheduled performance.

The Penang mufti said that Sheeran was a supporter of the LGBT community, which was not in line with the teachings of Islam.