07/21/2017, 17.01
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Record-breaking ‘Despacito’ banned in Malaysia as "obscene"

The global his is deemed contrary to the morals and principles of the Muslim majority nation. State Tv and state radio cannot broadcast it. Private outlets are urged not to play it. For Communications Minister, entertainment should spoil people but make them better.

Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews) – Malaysia has banned a highly popular song, ‘Despacito’, because it deems it obscene and unIslamic.

The ban applies only to government-run radio and TV outlets, not to private stations or the music streaming services hat have fuelled its success. Nevertheless, private broadcasters have bene urged not to play the song because of its lewd lyrics.

Malaysian Communications Minister Salleh Said Keruak said late Wednesday the song was reviewed and banned from public broadcasters. He urged private radio stations to censor the song themselves out of sensitivity to local culture.

Amanah, an Islamic party had filed a complaint against the song and called for its ban in Malaysia as many children were singing the song without understanding the words.

"We respect the right to be entertained but there should be clearer guidelines so that the entertainment does not spoil people but makes them better,'' party official Atriza Umar told The Star newspaper.

The Spanish-language song – whose title means "slowly'' – is erotically charged. It exalts the Latin macho man who seeks to conquer the desired woman. This led authorities to ban the song in the mostly Muslim nation, scene of anti-Christian persecution in the past.

The original by Puerto Rican artists Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee and a remix featuring Justin Bieber together reached 4.38 billion plays across streaming platforms, and is expected to overtake ‘See you again’ by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth. As the soundtrack of Fast and Furious, the latter counts 2.9 billion views breaking the record of South Korean PSY’s ‘Gangnam style’.

In Malaysia, a nation of over 28 million, Muslims are the majority (60 per cent). Christians are the third largest group after Buddhists with more than 2.6 million members. In the capital Kuala Lumpur, there are 180,000 Catholics out of a population of 11 million.

The community plays an important role but has also been the subject of attacks and violence, often triggered by the controversy over the use of the word Allah by non-Muslims. (DS)

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