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Sarawak minister says state has own flexible guidelines for foreign artistes

Publish date: Wed, 22 Mar 2023, 01:40 PM

KUCHING, March 22 — Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Minister Datuk Seri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah today said the state government has its own set of guidelines governing foreign artistes performing in the state.

He said the state does not have to follow the guidelines for foreign artistes as announced by Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil recently.

“But of course, I don’t want to see foreign artistes performing naked on the stage. There are certain rules that they have to follow.

“But we have to be flexible,” Karim said.

He recalled two artistes who performed at last year’s Rainforest World Music Festival at the Sarawak Cultural Village and said that they would not have been allowed to perform in other states for the way they dressed up and performed on stage.

“There will be no way for them to get the permit if they were to perform in Kuala Lumpur,” he said.

“But we did it. That reflects some kind of independence or autonomy that we have here where we can make our own decision,” he said.

However, he stressed all concerts, either by local or foreign performers, must be properly regulated.

On March 15, Fahmi said that the government has introduced stricter guidelines for foreign artistes performing in Malaysia to protect local sensitivities.

He added that he had consulted all communities, including Muslims and non-Muslims, when drafting the updated guidelines.

The updated guidelines were made available on the website of the Central Agency for Application for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artistes (Puspal) on December 31 last year.

Under the new rules for concerts and ‘live’ shows, for example, male foreign artistes are not allowed to “cross dress” when performing in Malaysia.

The updated guidelines have also specified that both male and female foreign acts are not allowed to remove any clothing during their performance.

Another rule stipulates that large-scale concerts and ‘live’ performances by international acts cannot take place on the night before an Islamic public holiday and on the day itself unless allowed by the respective Islamic authorities.

This encompasses the entire month of Ramadan, Awal Muharram, Maulidur Rasul, Isra’ Mikraj, Nisfu Sya’ban, Nuzul Al-Quran, Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Hari Raya Aidiladha.

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