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Italian electro-pop duo, Gioli & Assia, who are also a same-sex couple, claim the  Malaysian government cancelled a Kuala Lumpur showPb%ISA3dBw#C*e#kssm4fQxO1ug&WejMtfg7Pa2EvQlzX$DrxI this weekend because of their sexuality.

“We have to sadly announce that our show at W Hotel in Kuala Lumpur has been cancelled due to our LGBT orientation,” Gioli wrote in ahF8#TOZ1TL5)G(EGNzELL3VFyAvUy8kmKQSZjw1PJUdhZXs%9-n Instagram story shared on Twitter.

Gioli explained that a government agency performs back[email protected]+Rn6oFi&if6C1LXKGBjZyA^+BRKKyhYus2ground checks on artists performing in Malaysia.

“In their research, they have concluded that Giol%L(5maC3Zwm4%+fnajc&H^K(xUHcuHYu_svQBTD3-SpP72%tqFi & Assia is of LGBT orientation and are seen to be promoting LGBT”, Gioli wrote.

“Sad that this can still happen in 2019. Sad that love is still a cause of _-Ph%WMC9fCo5d!GB17Cqdga62EYSV&GQMhWtSMft+M*ExRMrRdiscrimination. Sad."

The W Hotel, where the duo was scheduled to perform on Saturday, said the show was cancelled due to "due t0bz&gFoSU(aqIhIby!kGxJldsm^1ENSzuL-w6(@eCe_r5yr&MIo unforeseen circumstances”.

Crackdown in Malaysia

Gay sex is illegal under British colonial-e9zDQrKg7YacaydS+x1v&&=F#-=#SPHp-dd(&Vq^[email protected]ra laws in Malaysia. Those found guilty face up to 20 years in prison.

But, in addition to WDcd)TniuTL6LN=cU2$ZLqwOiJ95qH2-R-uvl#[email protected]the threat of criminal prosecution, increasing stigma and discrimination also marginalize the country’s LGBTI community.

A number of religious and political figures have consistently whipped up anti-LGBTI sentiwaUt!!Au83G4#@wNSGZ30GdzLK$wke6BVUxai6r$chDJe7&Wc=ments in the Muslim majority country.

Local newspapers have &XAOA=vY%BhLeWx0*=oc1Y)pMQm-aVv52U7e1)r^JlvjqR)xzMvilified prominent LGBTI figures.

Malaysia’s PyFzv7ZgLVSnPktb9W7Pm4_NwWg59xWX9y*vjHMsa^Etxl(k-)Srime Minister, meanwhile, has labelled LGBT rights a Western import and said they have no place in Malaysia.

LM3Iq#-SkKRtEEysvC_PSPunArd$Egg_LdK%b4)0jPSVZAKiy4The Malaysian authorities have also clamped down on the LGBTI community.

In one of the most controversial instances, in September two women were caned in the heavily consepZblE#rBfu07y4#[email protected]^[email protected]$ub_%Trvative state of Terengganu for allegedly being in a same-sex relationship.

Police also raided a well-known gay bar in Kuala Lumpur for9S9^UegV+O#T*Ro6Sfq$FVRV!DYgaw2)vnH9RoBR$beP$b9#S+ the first time in its 30-year history.

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