Coldplay hits back after call to cancel Malaysia gig over support for LGBTQ+ rights

Coldplay frontman Chris Martin has responded to a call for the band’s Malaysia concert to be cancelled (Photo by Buda Mendes/Getty Images)


Coldplay frontman Chris Martin has responded to a call for the band’s first-ever concert in Malaysia to be cancelled.

Earlier this month, it was announced the British band would perform in Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur, on 22 November.

While the country’s prime minister, Anwar Ibrahim, celebrated the gig announcement on social media, opposition MP Nasrudin Hassan, the leader of the Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), urged the government to cancel it because Martin has been pictured holding Pride flags in the past.

“Does the government want to nurture a culture of hedonism and perversion in this country,?” he asked on social media.

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

Now, in an interview with Malaysian radio station HITZ, Martin has explicitly addressed the topic.

“Everybody is welcome to our show. We love all people, all kinds of people, all religions, all leaders, all followers – nobody is excluded,” the Coldplay frontman said.

“We want you to come to our show and feel free to be yourself and feel free to let everybody be themselves.”

“Anyone not happy that we’re coming, we so sorry but we love you too.”

He added that he always feels “a sense of love and warmth” from Malaysian people.

Earlier in the interview, he revealed the band is using their Music of the Spheres world tour to perform in places they haven’t played before, in part because they were “a little difficult”.

Coldplay’s November performance in Kuala Lumpur is currently the final scheduled date of the tour.

The Malaysian government was quick to respond to Hassan, with local government development minister, Nga Kor Ming, saying: “My suggestion is simple: don’t buy the tickets and close [your] eyes.”

Local media quoted the minister as adding: “It isn’t just a concert performance, but they are good for economic growth. PAS’ old-fashioned way of thinking is not suitable for our multi-cultural society.”

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

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