The Central Agency for Application for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artistes (PUSPAL) recently updated its guidelines for concerts and live shows by international acts in Malaysia.
The new guidelines include a dress code prohibiting male foreign artistes from cross-dressing or dressing up like women when performing.
Another rule states that large-scale concerts and live performances are not allowed to be held on the night before Islamic public holidays and on the actual date of such occasions, unless permitted by the country’s Islamic authorities.
According to The Star, the updated guidelines were made after consultation with various communities, including both Muslims and non-Muslims in addition to feedback from industry players.
Communications and Digital Minister, Fahmi Fadzil stated that the aim of these guidelines is to protect the sensitivities of all Malaysians.
The updated guidelines also specify that both male and female foreign artistes are not allowed to remove any clothing during their performances.
That being said, the new guidelines did reduce the number of “blackout dates” for shows during the country’s independence celebration.
Previously, all open concerts by foreign artistes could not be held on days leading up to the Malaysia’s independence day from 25 Aug – 16 Sep as opposed to the new rule which states that such large-scale shows cannot be held from Aug 30-31 and from Sep 15-16.
Aside from live performances, the guidelines will also govern foreign film crews recording content in Malaysia. One of the new criteria for filming is that film scripts must not negatively depict any security or enforcement agency in Malaysia, such as the police or military forces.
Fahmi Fadzil assured that foreign artistes are still welcomed in Malaysia, but must adhere to the code of conduct and dress code in the guidelines, which apparently aim to improve the level of concerts and live performances for the audience.
These include having clean and sufficient toilets, proper seating, and facilities as Malaysia plans to attract more international stars to hold shows in the country as more measures are introduced down the line.
In the meantime, there will be continued engagement with stakeholders as well as a second phase of updates to the guidelines, planned to be enforced by 2024.