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Ministry bans Despacito from RTM airwaves

 | July 19, 2017

This follows complaints of the song's sexually-charged lyrics.


PETALING JAYA: The communications and multimedia ministry has banned Spanish hit song “Despacito” from the government-owned Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) television and radio channels with immediate effect, following complaints of sexually-charged lyrics.

“RTM has stopped the song on all RTM radio stations and over RTM TV with immediate effect,” minister Salleh Said Keruak told FMT.

He said the decision was made after a public complaint which was reviewed by RTM’s panel.

“They have decided to withdraw the approval of the song,” he said.

But Salleh said the song could still be accessed through other means, especially online.

“Radio airwaves are but one of the many channels through which the public, especially the younger generation, hear those songs.

“As such, we ask the radio stations to be sensitive to local norms and apply self-censorship of the song, be it by stopping the airplay or audio deleting part of the song.”

Earlier, the women’s wing of Amanah urged authorities to stop the song from the airwaves, saying the lyrics were not suitable.

“Despacito” has so far gained more than two billion views on YouTube.

It is a single by Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi featuring rapper Daddy Yankee.

It topped the charts of 45 countries and reached the top 10 of nine others, making it Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s most successful single to date.

It is also one of the best-selling Latin singles in the United States.

A part of the lyrics read: “Let me breathe your neck slowly, Let me undress you with kisses slowly, sign the walls of your labyrinth, and make your whole body a manuscript.”

The song has taken the world by storm, with the worldwide “Despacito” fever giving way to a string of parodies, including by Malaysians.

A Malay song based on “Despacito” called “Incognito” has so far gained close to eight million views on YouTube.

In the past, suggestive songs aired over public airwaves were subjected to censors, with swear words being silenced without disrupting the flow of the song.


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