British musician Ed Sheeran is facing opposition from the Malaysian Islamist party Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) and the Penang mufti over his upcoming concert in Kuala Lumpur, due to his support for LGBTQ+ rights.
The concert, scheduled for February 24 at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium, has sparked calls for cancellation, mirroring previous attempts by PAS to halt performances by artists they claim promote LGBTQ+ rights.
PAS, particularly its ulama (cleric) division, has consistently opposed performances by Western artists supporting LGBTQ+ rights, arguing such views conflict with Malaysian values.
This stance was reiterated by PAS ulama chief Ahmad Yahaya, who emphasised the need for governmental action against such concerts, especially with the approaching Muslim fasting month.
The controversy surrounding Sheeran’s concert follows past incidents where PAS campaigned against international artists like Coldplay, Blackpink, and Billie Eilish, urging stricter controls on foreign performances.
Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil confirmed that Sheeran’s performance had been approved by relevant authorities, however, mentioned the possibility of revisiting this decision if necessary.