Parliament: Decisions on foreign artistes’ applications to perform will be through Puspal, comprising 16 govt bodies – Teo Nie Ching

File photo of Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital, Teo Nie Ching.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 30: The approval of applications made by foreign artistes (FAs) to perform in Malaysia and any other decisions on sensitive matters related to their applications will be made by the Central Agency for Application for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artistes (PUSPAL), Deputy Minister of Communications and Digital, Teo Nie Ching informed the Dewan Rakyat today.

PUSPAL is a one-stop agency to coordinate applications for filming and performance by FAs and it comprises representatives from 16 ministries, government agencies and department including the Department of Islamic Development of Malaysia (JAKIM), the deputy minister said in a written reply to a question raised in Parliament today by the Member of Parliament for Jasin, Tuan Zulkifli bin Ismail.

He wanted to know if the Government was prepared to give a bigger role to JAKIM so that it can take a preventive measure to stop the entry of Western foreign artistes who bring in the elements of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) into the country. He cited the The 1975 concert incident as a sample.

The role of JAKIM in PUSPAL, which is under the Ministry of Communications and Digital, is to give its views and advice on matters related to the aspects of Islamic religious sensitivity and Muslims in the country.

The background check on each application from foreign artistes wishing to perform or sing in any public platform such as in a concert, is carried out by each member of PUSPAL according to their respective jurisdiction including JAKIM, she said.

If there is any matter that touches on sensitive issues such as the country’s policies, security, religion, race and culture, or jeopordises public interest, this will discussed at a meeting in PUSPAL before any decision is made, she said.

— WE