Police in Malaysia have cancelled an established gay arts
festival after local Muslim groups threatened to protest it.
The Sexual Independence festival, which has been running since
2008, was scheduled to run from 9 November and promote tolerance
through artistic expression.
But, after criticism by the Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin
Yassin and several Muslim groups, police officials have ordered it
to be scrapped.
Earlier this week Yassin described the event as "inappropriate"
and a "waste of time".
According to the Associated Press, deputy police chief Khalid
Abu Bakar said in a statement that authorities will "prevent any
function relating to the program."
Many organizations "feared the program could create disharmony,
enmity and disturb public order," he added.
The festival's sponsors and supporters included the Malaysian
chapter of Amnesty International.