Malaysian lawmaker wants Coldplay gig cancelled over pictures of Chris Martin holding Pride flags

An opposition member of parliament in Malaysia has called for a Coldplay concert to be cancelled because frontman Chris Martin has been pictured holding Pride flags in the past.

In a post on social media on Wednesday (11 May), the Malaysian Islamic Party’s (PAS) Nasrudin Hassan said he wanted the government to axe Coldplay’s Kuala Lumpur performance, scheduled for November – which will be the rock band’s first gig in Malaysia.

“Does the government want to nurture a culture of hedonism and perversion in this country?” he asked, alongside screenshots of two tweets: one of the Malaysian prime minster, Anwar Ibrahim, welcoming the band and another from a fan account that posted photos from a 2016 London concert where Martin is holding a Pride flag.

“I advise you to just cancel this group’s performance in Malaysia. It brings nothing good to religion, race and country.”

However, Hassan has swiftly been shut down by the country’s local government development minister, Nga Kor Ming.

“If they don’t like Coldplay… my suggestion for them is simple: don’t buy the tickets and close their eyes,” Malay Mail reported Nga saying.

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“It isn’t just a concert performance, but they are good for economic growth. That is why PAS’ old-fashioned way of thinking is not suitable for our multi-cultural society.”

He questioned why Coldplay would not be allowed to perform when Michael Jackson once did, as well as highlighting the London group’s philanthropic actions towards Malaysia.

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“They contributed to Malaysia when they sponsored a watercraft that removes plastic trash from the Klang River in 2019,” Nga reportedly continued.

“So their philosophy is in line with the ministry, as I want to care for the cleanliness of the rivers and they are helping me to do so.

“When they arrive in Malaysia, if they are willing, I’d like to buy them nasi lemak, nasi kerabu from Kelantan, roti canai and yong tou foo, so that they can help us promote our local delicacies, since 2025 will be Visit Malaysia year.”

There are no LGBTQ+ rights in Malaysia, with same-sex relations and gender non-conformity criminalised. Under legislation that dates back to British rule, sodomy is outlawed and anal or oral sex are punishable by caning and up to 20 years in prison.

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