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Malaysian radio, TV network to stop playing ‘Despacito’

/ 01:35 PM July 20, 2017

In this April 27, 2017 file photo, singers Luis Fonsi, left and Daddy Yankee perform during the Latin Billboard Awards in Coral Gables, Fla. Universal Music Latin Entertainment announced Wednesday, July 19, 2017, that “Despacito” has become the most streamed song of all time with more than 4.6 billion plays six months after its release. The song by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, and a companion remix featuring Justin Bieber, has surpassed the 4.38 billion plays recorded for the previous record holder, which was Bieber’s hit “Sorry.” AP

PUTRAJAYA — Malaysia’s state broadcast network will cease airing the global hit song “Despacito” at all its radio and television stations immediately, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.

He said the  Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) evaluation panel decided to withdraw the approval to play the song after a re-evaluation.


“As such, RTM is ceasing the broadcast of the song at its radio and TV stations with immediate effect,” he said to Bernama (Malaysian National News Agency) after attending an Eid al-Fitr open house of the ministry here yesterday.

The song about having a sexual relationship has also hit a sour note with Angkatan Wanita Amanah Nasional that is calling for the Spanish hit to be kept out of Malaysia’s airwaves.

Denouncing Despacito as having sexually explicit lyrics, the group’s Arts and Culture chairperson Atriza Umar said she viewed it seriously as many young children were singing the song without actually understanding the words.

She urged radio stations to stop playing Despacito (meaning “slowly”) which, according to Wikipedia, is a “reggaeton-pop song about having a sexual relationship, performed in a smooth and romantic way.”

Local Malay radio stations, Atriza added, were also playing the song, resulting in it becoming a phenomenon “that is hard to stop.”

“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,” she said.

Despacito is sung by Puerto Ricans Luis Fonsi and rapper Daddy Yankee and features Canadian pop star Justin Bieber.

The song has topped weekly charts all over the world, including in Malaysia.

According to the Billboard charts, the hit has become just the 35th single to top the Hot 100 for at least 10 weeks.


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TAGS: broadcast, Despacito, Justin Bieber, Malaysia, radio, Television
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