Malaysian state bans rock, reggae and pop concerts

August 29th, 2008 - 2:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Kuala Lumpur, Aug 29 (IANS) Malaysia’s opposition-ruled northern state of Kedah has imposed a ban on rock, reggae, pop and Indonesian ‘dangdut’ music concerts, saying such shows would negatively influence youth, a news report said Friday.”We do not condone any (gyrating movements) on stage,” state councillor Ismail Salleh was quoted as telling the Star daily.

“We are currently formulating a comprehensive guideline for concerts.

“Until then, concerts of such nature are banned,” he said.

Dangdut, which is extremely popular among locals here, is a genre of Indonesian popular music that incorporates Arabic, Indian, and Malay folk music with fast-moving dancing.

In March 8 general elections, Malaysia’s three-party opposition alliance took control of Kedah along with four other states.

The hardline Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), which won the most number of state seats, has begun to enforce strict guidelines on things like civil servants’ dress codes to outdoor entertainment and concerts.

Ismail said concerts with religious Islamic recitals and patriotic songs would still be allowed, adding that the state government was not opposed to entertainment.

“We just do not want to allow the type of entertainment that could negatively influence people,” he said.

Last month, PAS’ youth wing called for the government to ban a concert by Canadian pop star Avril Lavigne, saying the young performer’s punk-rock music was unsuitable for locals.

The government, which followed suit by announcing that her concert would be cancelled, retracted the ban last week.

Lavigne is scheduled to perform in the capital Kuala Lumpur Friday.

The Indonesian ambassador hosted a private show at his residence by a pop singer from his country after scheduled performances were cancelled at the last minute earlier this month on similar grounds.

He said the Ambang Merdeka concert at Stadium Darul Aman would proceed.

“We have invited artiste Roy and Kopratasa band to sing patriotic songs,” he said in response to a last-minute cancellation of a daytime mini-concert in Menara Alor Star.

Malaysians generally tend to be conservative at public performances. At some of them, men and women are seated separately.

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