The Malaysian government canceled a dance performance containing acts alluding to the Falun Gong spiritual movement, an official and the U.S.-based organizer said Monday, sources from AP on March 24.
The ministry revoked the show's permit because the Chinese Embassy complained that the organizers — U.S.-based New Tang Dynasty Television station — were supporters of Falun Gong, a spiritual movement that Beijing bans as a dangerous cult, said a ministry official.
"The show is nothing, but we're scared of the influence behind it," said the official, who declined to be named because she is not authorized to speak to the media. "We have to take care of our relationship with China. It's very important."
Wong Mei Yee, project manager with NTDTV, blasted Malaysia's decision. She acknowledged that parts of the performance hinted at the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners "in an artistic way" but said that should not matter.
Chinese authorities have denounced NTDTV, which is based in New York and broadcasts by satellite in Mandarin, Cantonese and English, as a mouthpiece for Falun Gong. Many of the station's staffers are Falun Gong practitioners, but NTDTV insists it is independent.
The March 22-23 show titled "Chinese Spectacular" was to have been performed by an international cast from Australia, Canada, China, Germany, the U.S. and other countries.
A Chinese Embassy official declined to comment.
(Facts.org.cn, March 26, 2008)