Beyonce To Perform In Malaysia Despite Dress Code Debate
First Published: September 20, 2009 3:21 PM EDT Credit: Getty Premium
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Beyonce Knowles says she will perform in Malaysia in October, two years after canceling a show in this Muslim-majority country after protesters threatened to disrupt the concert because of her sexy image and clothing.
The R&B superstar’s upcoming show is already drawing the ire of conservatives in this country, where female performers are required to cover up from the shoulders to knees with no cleavage showing.
Knowles said on her Web site that she will take the stage at a stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s biggest city, on Oct. 25. “Beyonce for the first time ever has decided to make Malaysia part of her ‘I am.’ World Tour,” her Web site said.
Knowles canceled a planned concert two years ago following protest threats by Malaysia’s opposition Islamic party. At the time her talent agency said the showwas called off due to a scheduling conflict.
Instead she went to Indonesia, which has less stringent rules about how performers should dress and behave.
Sabki Yusof, youth vice head of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, said Sunday that they would send a protest note to the government over the concert. He said it was the government’s “responsibility to protect the people of Malaysia” from what he described as immoral Western influences.
“We are not against entertainment as long as it is within the framework of our culture and our religion,” Sabki said. “We are against Western sexy performances. We don’t think our people need that.”
He said besides the protest note, the party had no plans so far to disrupt the concert. Organizers for Beyonce’s October show could not immediately be reached for comment.
Artists such as Avril Lavigne and Gwen Stefani have performed in Malaysia under similar protest threats by conservative Muslims, forcing the artists to don attire that revealed little skin.
In the most recent controversy, the government late last month at first barred, then reversed the order forbidding Muslims from attending a Black Eyed Peas concert because it was sponsored by a beer company. With the ban lifted Muslims can now watch the U.S. hip-hop stars at a theme park near Kuala Lumpur on Sept. 25.
In family and personal matters, Muslims, who make up two-thirds of Malaysia’s 28 million people, are governed by Islamic law, which forbids the consumption of alcohol. The laws do not apply to non-Muslims.
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