No comment on Matt Healy's behaviour at GVF, new UK High Commissioner reiterates stance on LGBT, offers dialogue discussion

20 Sep 2023 05:28pm
Healy (left) and Terry. (FILE PIX)
Healy (left) and Terry. (FILE PIX)

KUALA LUMPUR - The new British High Commissioner Aisla Terry is keeping mum about the controversial incident involving British rock band The 1975 but was open to meet those involved to "engage in a respectful dialogue".

Stating that her comments might affect the ongoing legal proceedings between the band and Good Vibes Festival organiser Future Sound Asia (FSA), she instead directed the conversation to the United Kingdom's (UK) stance on the LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Trans) community rights.

She said the country would advocate for freedom of these individuals and aim to host engaging respectful dialogues with the Malaysian government as well as various local organisations.

She said these dialogues would foster a deeper understanding of each other's perspective and support for the local community in Malaysia.

She further stressed the importance of the dialogue and listening to the Malaysian community, acknowledging that sensitive issues such as these require respectful conversations that consider all viewpoints.

"I'd like to emphasise that when discussing such sensitive issues, which often evoke deeply held beliefs, it's crucial to approach them with care and consideration," she said during an exclusive interview with Sinar Daily on Fireside Chat.

Terry said she would be happy to have a discussion with the organiser and businesses impacted by cancellation of the festival, as well as any organisations involved in the industry including local cultural and music associations.

Despite the disappointment caused by the festival's cancellation, Terry hopes for future cultural exchanges between the UK and Malaysia.

“The importance of respectful dialogue and understanding in addressing such sensitive issues.

"The door is open for discussions and collaboration between the UK and Malaysia to navigate these challenges and strengthen their cultural ties,” she said.

On June 21, The 1975's frontman Matt Healy went on a tirade on stage complaining about Malaysia's LGBT laws and labelling the country "retarded".

Pouring more oil to the already heated situation, Healy went on to kiss bandmate Ross MacDonald as they were about to begin their performance as the closing set for the first day of the festival.

This led to Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil cancelling the festival altogether, affecting 28 food vendors participating in the event. On Aug 7, FSA took legal action against The 1975 and issued a letter of Claim, giving the band seven days to pay RM12.3 million in damages or face a legal suit in the United Kingdom.

Healy's behaviour during the festival's 10th-anniversary event has raised questions about the responsibilities of international artists when they perform abroad and the consequences of their actions on the host country.

Healy is known for his controversial antics both on and off stage, even before his arrival.