Asia: Paramore Postpones, Denise Ho, Namewee

5/2/2015 12:00:00 AM
– Paramore
Beale Street Music Festival, Tom Lee Park, Memphis, Tenn.

Paramore Postpones Citing Illness

Paramore was forced to postpone its sold-out concerts in Jakarta on Feb. 16 and Manila on Feb. 18, citing bandleader Hayley Williams having contracted a throat and upper respiratory infection. Since the band is currently in the midst of a world tour, it was determined she she rest up in order to be in good shape for the remaining dates, which included one Japan show in Tokyo, also sold out, on Feb. 21. The Manila show has been rescheduled for Aug. 23. The new concert date for Jakarta has yet to be announced.

Kesha is also reportedly planning to postpone some of her upcoming Asia-Pacific region concerts in order to undergo knee surgery. She fell during a concert in Dubai on February 9, “tearing her ACL in the process,” according to CNN. “Moving these dates is making me sick with sadness,” Kesha wrote in a statement. “But I tried to will this injury away and unfortunately it didn’t work.” 

Denise Ho Denied Malaysian Performance Permit

Hong Kong pop star Denise Ho has been denied a permit to perform in the country due to her views on gay rights.

BBC reports that Ho, who is openly gay, was scheduled to perform in Kuala Lumpur in April. Government officials have not specifically stated why the permit was not granted, only that any concerts in Malaysia must comply with “local values.”

Denise Ho Free Show
AP Photo / Vincent Yu
– Denise Ho Free Show
Cantonese pop singer and outspoken activist Denise Ho, left, performs during a free concert at a street in Hong Kong June 19. 

However, an employee of the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia told BBC that the permit was denied because of Ho’s LGBT activism. Homosexuality is illegal in Malaysia. 

Ho has apologized to her Malaysian fans via her Facebook page for cancelling the show. She added that her team had told her that the reason the permit was not granted is because she is an “active supporter of the LGBT community,” and while she did receive an official rejection notice for her application to perform, the notice did not explain the reason. It simply said, “A number of issues need to be addressed if the artist is brought in for the performance of this country.”

Ho was once arrested for participating in Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement in 2014 and posted a photo of herself with Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who is considered an enemy of the Chinese government. 

Namewee Under The Microscope

Malaysian performer Wee Meng Chee, better known by his hip-hop handle Namewee, is under investigation by Malaysian police for allegedly insulting Islam in a Lunar New Year video featuring dancers wearing dog masks and dancing suggestively.

According to AFP, the video, which is titled “Like a Dog,” shows Namewee sitting in a chair in front of a “domed building” while mimicking the different styles of dog barking from around the world. Dancers clad in black clothing and wearing dog masks move around him, two of them pretending to have sex “doggy style.” 

Though the video is clearly meant to mark the Asian Year of the Dog, dogs are considered unclean animals in Islam. Moreover, the domed building was believed to be a mosque in the city of Putrajaya. Namewee is a member of Malaysia’s ethnic Chinese minority.

 The national police have said they started an investigation into the artist for “hurting religious feelings and transmitting offensive communications.” If tried and found guilty, Namewee could face up to a year in jail. 

At present, the rapper is not in Malaysia, but via YouTube he denied any attempt to insult Islam.

This is not the first time Namewee has provoked controversy. In 2016 he supposedly insulted Islam by allegedly filming part of a video inside of a mosque.