Malaysia bans Justin Bieber “Despacito” remix, citing offense to Islam

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A still from Justin Bieber's remix

Justin Bieber’s remix of “Despacito,” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee, propelled the infectious hit to global dominance as the most streamed track of all time: 4.6 billion plays and counting.

But Malaysia’s officially not having it. State-run television and radio stations yanked the track after officials said people were complaining about the song’s racy lyrics.

“‘The lyrics are not suitable to be heard,” Malaysia’s Minister of Information and Communications Salleh Said Keruak told Agence France-Presse.

The political party Parti Amanah Negara had been pressing for the move.

“I urge the authorities to ban this song and other songs that contain sexy and violent lyrics which are not suitable in accordance with Islam and our eastern culture,” party leader Atriza Umar had urged, AFP reported. The song can still be heard on private broadcast stations, and via streaming.

The original version by the Puerto Rican artists Fonsi and Daddy Yankee was already a Latin-market hit; Bieber’s remix gave it an international boost and beat the record he’d previously set with 2015’s “Sorry,” which logged 4.38 billion plays. 

Here’s the song Malaysian politicians don’t want anyone to hear:


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