Entertainment

Police to ‘allow’ Gaga’s
gig - with conditions

Lady Gaga (AP)
Lady Gaga (AP)

The National Police now says it will issue a concert permit for American pop diva Lady Gaga - but only if the promoters achieve the monumental task of getting recommendations from the Religious Affairs Ministry and the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI).

Both organizations have shown strong opposition to the singer’s concert in Indonesia.

Police also demanded that concert promoter Big Daddy Entertainment have recommendations from the Tourism Ministry, the Home Affairs Ministry, the Director General of Immigration over Lady Gaga’s visa and the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry.

A permit from the management of Bung Karno Stadium, where the planned June 3 concert will be held, is also required

“If the promoter obtains recommendations from all those institutions, then we will issue a concert permit for Lady Gaga,” Police spokesman Insp. Gen. Saud Usman Nasution said Tuesday, as quoted by tempo.co.

Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali said last week that Gaga “indulges in pornography by wearing revealing costumes” and she would have a negative influence on young Indonesians.

“Her lyrics indicate that she is also an anti-religious person. During her concerts, Lady Gaga looks like a devil worshiper,” said the minister, who admitted he had never watched any of Gaga’s music videos, as quoted by kompas.com.

More than 50,000 tickets, with prices ranging from Rp 465,000 (US$50.75) to Rp 2.25 million, have been sold for the Grammy Award-winner’s concert since they went on sale on March 10.

Saud said the police would monitor the concert and if the singer shown something “abhorrent” they would end the performance.

The requirements set by police would be fulfilled, Big Daddy Entertainment spokesman Arif Romadhoni said, adding that the promoter had also told Lady Gaga’s management to “respect Indonesian culture” during the Jakarta concert.

After a two-hour meeting deliberating whether they would grant US pop diva Lady Gaga a recommendation to perform in Jakarta, the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) decided on Tuesday that it would stick to its original decision rejecting the artist.

The meeting ended with a unanimous vote by MUI’s leaders to reject Gaga’s planned concert.

The reason for this, according to MUI official Aminudin Yakub, is that “Lady Gaga will destroy the morals of the nation’s youth”.

Another MUI official, Asrorun Niam, said that the artist “is at odds with the nation’s belief in the one and only God” and that she “debases religion”.

“Lady Gaga is a pornography icon. She is anti-God and supports freedom without limits,” said Asrorun Sholeh, an MUI commission secretary, on Tuesday, as quoted by tempo.co.

The MUI also said that Gaga’s concert was not suitable with current Indonesian conditions where there were a lot of people suffering from starvation while the “Pocker Face” singer’s concert was considered nothing but hedonism.

Meanwhile, The Indonesian Police Watch (IPW) has criticized the National Police’s intervention in the Jakarta Police’s decision over American pop diva Lady Gaga’s concert in Jakarta.

IPW chairman Neta S. Pane said the conflicting statements from the two forces show the police were unprofessional.

“Such unprofessional [behavior] and inconsistency will only make people confused,” he told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

Separately, Bali Governor I Made Mangku Pastika says US pop diva Lady Gaga can perform on the tourist island if her Jakarta concert is canceled, as long as police can guarantee security and she respects Balinese culture.

"I don't think that there will be any problems, as long as Lady Gaga follows our requirements. For example, she must not offend or undermine the norms that exist in Bali and in Indonesia," Pastika said, as quoted by Antara news agency on Tuesday.

The governor also said that the requirements would include those "on appearance and other related matters". (iwa)

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