KUALA LUMPUR: The guidelines for the Central Agency for Application for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artistes (Puspal) is in the final stage of amendment, the Dewan Negara was informed today.

Deputy Minister of Communications, Teo Nie Ching, stated that the amendments to the Puspal guidelines also take into account the management of current issues such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT), as well as Race, Religion, and Ruler (3R), among others.

“With the improvement of the Puspal guidelines, it is hoped that there is enhanced control over the stated negative elements, “ she said during today’s question-and-answer session.

She was addressing Senator Musoddak Ahmad’s inquiry about the government’s position on the proposed amendments to the entertainment guidelines to prohibit Western artists with LGBTQ ideologies from performing in the country.

The Ministry of Communications through Puspal serves as the local secretariat responsible for coordinating and processing applications for the entry of foreign artists and crew.

Teo stated that the Puspal Committee consists of 16 members from ministries, departments, and government agencies, including the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim).

She explained that Jakim’s role is to provide insights and advice from the perspective of religious sensitivities and the Muslim community in Malaysia.

“Any discoveries related to sensitive matters such as national policy, security, religion, racial and cultural concerns, and potential risks to public interest will undergo comprehensive deliberation during Puspal Committee Meetings before any decision is reached.

“Meaning, it is not a decision made solely by the Ministry of Communications,“ she added.

Teo also mentioned that the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, and Culture, which has issued the National Culture Policy (DAKEN) 2021, is also an agency within the PUSPAL committee.

“This is to ensure that performances by approved foreign artists align with Core 1 and Core 2 in DAKEN, namely ‘high-value culture and societal harmony’,“ she said.

Teo also highlighted that background checks on foreign artists are conducted for every performance application held in public venues like concerts and singing events, which are carried out by each Puspal member according to their respective jurisdictions.