The 1975’s Kuala Lumpur gig has prompted the government to ask concert organisers to introduce a “kill switch” to avoid any future “unwanted incidences”.
The UK-based band, led by frontman Matty Healy, played at Good Vibes Festival in the Malaysian capital back in July.
However, the group walked off stage around half an hour after Healy shared a kiss with bandmate Ross MacDonald on-stage.
Healy announced at the time: “All right, we just got banned from Kuala Lumpur, see you later.”
“The government has asked concert organisers to… cut off electricity supply if there is any unwanted incident”
Now, a government figure has explained that concert organisers have been asked to introduce a kill-switch system as a result.
Teo Nie Ching, who is Deputy Communications and Digital Minister, has confirmed this came as a direct result of the incident with The 1975.
“The government has asked concert organisers to… cut off electricity supply if there is any unwanted incident [during a performance],” Ching said.
Other implementations to be made will include a stricter police presence and wider background checks for foreign performers.
“This is a new guideline after the incident [involving The 1975]. We hope with stricter guidelines, foreign artistes [will respect] local culture,” the government figure added, according to The Star.
After the stunt, the group subsequently found themselves banned from playing in Malaysia, and also got the next two days of the festival shut down.
“We hope with stricter guidelines, foreign artistes [will respect] local culture”
In Malaysia, homosexuality is illegal. Being involved intimately with someone of the same sex can result in fines, or prison sentences up to 20 years.
There are currently no rights for LGBTQ+ people in Malaysia. In 2023, the Global Trans Rights Index ranked Malaysia as the second worst country in the world in terms of transgender rights, only after Guyana.
While the band received a mixed reaction to the incident, it wasn’t the first time Healy has challenged anti-LGBTQ+ laws in a conservative nation.
In a 2019 show in Dubai – where homosexuality can be punished with 10 years in prison – he went up to a male fan up in attendance and kissed him.
He said moments later: “I love you bro. We’re all human, right?”
“Thank you Dubai, you were so amazing. I don’t think we’ll be allowed back due to my ‘behaviour’ but know that I love you and I wouldn’t have done anything differently given the chance again,” he shared on Twitter after the show.