Lady Gaga 'not suitable' for Indonesia?
Jakarta (The Jakarta Post/ANN) - The Jakarta Police say they will not issue a recommendation to the National Police to issue a permit for Lady Gaga's concert on June 3 at Bung Karno Stadium in Senayan, Central Jakarta.
"Although we have yet to receive any request for a crowd permit from the promoter, there's a very slim chance the permit will be issued, because the National Police headquarters will only issue the permit based on our recommendation," spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said yesterday,
Rikwanto said the decision was based on input received from groups who said Lady Gaga, famous for her hit singles "Poker Face" and "Bad Romance", was not suitable for local audiences.
"Lady Gaga indulges in revealing her body, dancing erotically, and spreading pornography," he said, denying that the decision was made in response to hard-line Muslim groups.
"It's not like that. We're looking at the big picture here, taking suggestions from many circles and groups. The final decision was then taken only after our own thorough consideration and deliberations."
One infamous hard-line group, the Islam Defenders Front (FPI), has fervently opposed Lady Gaga's concert in Indonesia, saying that it would send its members to intercept the American singer when she arrived at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten.
"We refuse to have Gaga step on our land. She's bringing the faith of Satan to our country and thus will destroy the nation's morals," the chief of FPI's Jakarta branch, Habib Salim Alatas, said.
The FPI said the group had been protesting the presence of all foreign artists who they deemed wore "revealing clothes" while performing in Jakarta, not just the American singer.
Born Stefani Joanne Angeline Germanotta, Lady Gaga, a Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter, is famous for her eccentric dress and her support of gay rights.
Lady Gaga's concert in Jakarta would be one of the first performances in her world tour, "The Born This Way Ball", slated to run from April to October.
Local concert promoter Big Daddy Entertainment said more than 30,000 tickets priced from 465,000 rupiah (US$50.75) to 2.25 million rupiah ($242) have been sold for the gig since sales started on March 10.
Big Daddy president director Michael Rusli said that the company remained optimistic on the concert.
"This week we will process the permit with the Jakarta Police and the National Police. What has becomes the issue here is that many have misunderstood the performer and the show. We will explain this during the permit-making process."
Michael added that the concert had been endorsed by the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry.
Performances featuring foreigners must first obtain clearances from the Immigration Office, the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry and the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry.
Erie Posse of Showmaxx Entertainment said that after clearing those bureaucratic hurdles, promoters in Jakarta had to submit several additional permit requests to the National Police, the Jakarta Police, the appropriate municipal police headquarters, relevant police precincts and to the district where the event would take place. Then, and only then, would the National Police approve a concert, he added.
Some of Lady Gaga's fans, known as Little Monsters, voiced disappointment with the Jakarta Police's decision.
"I thought the police would help the show to run safely after the FPI's threats. But what happened now is that they have agreed with the FPI to cancel the concert. This will only discredit Indonesia internationally world," Hervina, the founder of Gaga's Twitter fanbase for Indonesia, said. "I just wish the police did not take sides with the FPI."