Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR, July 22 — The Selangor police said it fully supports the government’s decision today to immediately cancel the Good Vibes Festival (GVF) 2023 due to safety concerns.

Selangor police chief CP Datuk Hussein Omar Khan said the KLIA district police headquarters received three police reports today over an incident where a UK artiste from British band The 1975 had displayed rude behavior and made rude remarks yesterday at the festival.

The festival was held at SIC Sepang, which is a venue within Selangor.

“That incident was also said to have touched on Malaysian society’s sensitivities and had belittled Malaysia’s laws,” he said in a statement.

“The police fully support the Communications and Digital Ministry’s decision as announced by its minister, Yang Berhormat Fahmi Fadzil and the Sepang Municipal Council to cancel that festival immediately on security factors,” he added.

He said the police is carrying out investigations by calling in those involved, with the case being investigated under Section 509 and Section 504 of the Penal Code as well as Section 14 of the Minor Offences Act.

“The public is reminded to not make any speculations that can cause misunderstanding among society,” he concluded.

Section 504 covers the offence of intentional insult with intent to or knowing that it will likely provoke anyone to break the public peace, which is punishable with up to two years’ jail or a fine or both.

Section 509 covers the offence of word or gesture intended to insult the modesty of a person.

Under Section 509, anyone who says any word, makes any sound or gesture or who exhibits any object — with the intention for it to be heard or seen by anyone whose modesty they intend to insult — commits an offence, which is punishable with up to five years’ jail or a fine or both.

Section 14 covers the offence of insulting behavior, where it is a crime for any person to use any indecent, threatening, abusive or insulting words, or behave in a threatening or insulting manner, among other things, with the intent to provoke a breach of peace or where a breach of peace is likely to happen. It is punishable by a RM100 fine.

The 10th anniversary edition of the GVF music event 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.

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 organizer 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.

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