British band The 1975 said on Sunday they have cancelled shows in Taiwan and Muslim-majority Indonesia, a day after Malaysia banned them from performing there after their frontman kissed a bandmate on stage and criticised the country’s anti-LGBT laws.

“Unfortunately, due to current circumstances, it is impossible to proceed with the scheduled shows,” the pop rock group said in a statement, without elaborating.

Malaysia’s government halted a music festival in the capital Kuala Lumpur on Saturday and barred The 1975 after what it called “disrespectful actions”.

Homosexuality is a crime in Muslim-majority Malaysia. Rights groups have warned of growing intolerance against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The events on Friday in Malaysia caused an uproar, angering not only the government, but members of the LGBT community, who said frontman Matty Healy’s actions could expose LGBT people to more stigma and discrimination.

The 1975 were due to play on Sunday in Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, where homosexuality is a taboo subject, though not illegal except in sharia-ruled Aceh province.

Published in Dawn, July 24th, 2023

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