R&B star Beyonce Knowles has postponed a planned concert in Malaysia, the event’s organizer said Monday, following accusations by Islamic conservatives that the show would be immoral.
Knowles, known for her provocative clothes and choreography, had been scheduled to perform at a Kuala Lumpur stadium Oct. 25. The show “has been postponed to a future date to be announced shortly,” Malaysian entertainment company Marctensia said in a statement.
“The postponement is solely (the) decision of the artist and has nothing to do with other external reasons,” the statement said.
A Marctensia representative declined to say whether the decision was prompted by criticism from the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, the country’s largest opposition group, which has called for the show to be scrapped because it would promote “Western sexy performances.”
Knowles also canceled a planned performance in Malaysia in 2007 following protest threats by the opposition Islamic party. At the time, her talent agency said the show was called off due to a scheduling conflict.
Instead, Knowles went to Indonesia, also a largely Muslim country, which has less stringent rules about how performers should dress and behave. Female artists at Malaysian concerts are required by government rules to cover up from the shoulders to knees, with no cleavage showing.
Last month, Marctensia addressed concerns that Knowles might wear inappropriate outfits, saying “all parties have come to an amicable understanding” about stage costumes.
Other female pop stars such as Avril Lavigne and Gwen Stefani have performed in Malaysia despite similar protest threats by conservative Muslims. Both singers wore clothes that revealed little skin.
Some entertainment industry officials say the strict regulations and frequent controversies have discouraged many international artists from visiting Malaysia.