Denise Ho. | Photo: Facebook
Hong Kong singer Denise Ho has been forced to cancel her concert in Malaysia after the government denied her a visa into the country. She was allegedly knocked back for a work visa for being an ‘active supporter of the LGBTI community’.
Ho, who is also a Canadian citizen, announced the cancellation on her Facebook page today.
‘I’m sorry, our world tour ‘dear self, dear world’, originally scheduled to be held on April 14th Malaysia concert was cancelled,’ she wrote.
‘After two weeks in co-operation, we received the official phone call, and my performance work permit was not passed, and my colleague, who answered the phone, told me that it was an obstacle to my role in the LGBT community.’
Denise Ho @hoccgoomusic, #HongKong singer, who is #Canadian citizen, was denied a work permit by #Malaysia that allows her to perform there. Reportedly, her being an active supporter of #LGBT rights was cited as one of the “concerns.” Her announcement: https://t.co/Wc9N5966NG pic.twitter.com/5An3qW9QQM
— Ray Chan (@ray_slowbeat) February 15, 2018
Denise Ho famous across Asia
Ho is a massive pop star in Hong Kong and was one of the first musicians to publicly come out. Since she came out in 2012 she has been a vocal advocate for LGBTI and human rights.
She said she was disappointed her work visa was denied.
‘I would be lying if I said I am not disappointed about being rejected for my identity,’ she said
‘In this era, there are governments which reject foreign people, which are afraid of people speaking of the truth, and which suppress people’s self-identity.
‘This is a struggle between the old system and the world – from another angle, this may be an inevitable process in the changing world.
‘It is not a big deal that a concert cannot be held. But bans time-after-time have shown us – who live under relative freedom – that the civilisation we take for granted is not so natural.’
Homosexuality and being transgender is illegal in Malaysia, a mainly Muslim nation.
LGBTI people face high levels and discrimination, including 18-year-old T Nhaveen who was beaten to death in a homophobic attack last year.