‘Despacito’ Deemed Too Racy by Malaysia’s State Media Networks
Mong Palatino, 5 Aug 17

A dance club in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. Flickr photo by Loren Infeld (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Pop song ‘Despacito’ is no longer on the playlist of Malaysia’s state-owned radio networks and TV channels after an evaluation by the Ministry of Communication and Multimedia found the song’s sexually-explicit lyrics unfit for public broadcast.

‘Despacito’, the reportedly most streamed song of all time, is by Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi and rapper Daddy Yankee, with a remixed version featuring pop star Justin Bieber. The Spanish word ‘despacito’ translates to ‘slowly’ in English and the song is about a romantic relationship.

Calls for banning the song came from the women’s wing of the opposition party, Parti Amanah Negara, which seeks to be known as more progressive compared to some of the Islamic hardliners from the ruling coalition. The party's arts and culture chairperson, Atriza Umar, explained their position:

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.

However, the party didn't mention which part of the song offended them.

After Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak announced that Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) will no longer play ‘Despacito’ on its programs, Atriza Umar's party welcomed the decision as positive news for the women and mothers of Malaysia:

…the people in this country are not anti-entertainment by doing so (calling for the ban), but we do not want unhealthy elements to fester and become a norm for the younger generation today.

In recent years, conservative voices from the ruling coalition in the Muslim-majority nation have become more aggressive in pushing for the strict application of Islamic beliefs in governance. These same conservative voices also succeeded in pressuring the state to censor films, songs and books that they believe can cause ‘harm’ in society. Early this month, a book promoting a moderate version of Islam was banned by censors.

Sign in to view full article

How Gaming in The Classroom Prepares Children for Life in A Surveillance State
It’s well known that surveillance effects how we behave. A recent study on the issue showed that traffic to Wikipedia ...
Laura R. Pinkerton
Wed, 17 May 17
Every Picture Tells A Story, But Visualisation Can Tell The Right One
They say a picture is worth a thousand words.
Quang Vinh Nguyen
Thu, 4 May 17
Too Many Tabs – Why Some People Can Multitask Online and Others Can’t
The internet may be the most comprehensive source of information ever created but it’s also the biggest distraction. Set out ...
Peggy Alexopoulou
Thu, 5 Jan 17
You Too Could Be Multilingual – It’s Just About Unlocking The Skills Inside
Think back to when you first started learning a foreign language. For many readers it was probably French, German or ...
Christopher Timothy McGuirk
Thu, 6 Apr 17
Sustainable Shopping: For Eco-Friendly Jeans, Stop Washing Them So Often
Denim jeans – whether ripped, straight, flared, vintage or raw – are one of the world’s most-loved garments. But from ...
Alice Payne, Susannah Kate Devitt
Thu, 1 Jun 17
An Epoch Times Survey
An Epoch Times Survey
An Epoch Times Survey
Read about Forced Organ Harvesting
Sports Elements