KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (August 9, 2006) — Malaysian authorities fined organizers of a concert by the chart-topping Pussycat Dolls for allowing the singers to wear skimpy costumes and for their “sexually suggestive routines,” a news report said Wednesday.
The Subang Jaya Municipal Council, which administers the suburb where the concert was held in late July, fined organizers Absolute Entertainment 10,000 ringgit ($2,714) for flouting decency regulations, the Malay Mail tabloid reported.
“The Pussycat Dolls were guilty of performing sexually suggestive routines on stage,” council President Mohamad Arif Abdul Rahman was quoted as saying. “In terms of their eye-popping attire, well, there’s a lot of proof of that from our sources and the media.”
The six-member all-girl group from the United States are known for worldwide hits such as “Don Cha” and “Buttons.” They performed to a sold-out arena in Muslim-majority Malaysia as part of their global tour.
The council plans to take the organizer to court if the company fails to settle the fine, the paper said.
A spokesman for Absolute Entertainment, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they were meeting with council officials midday Wednesday. She declined to provide further details.
The government in this Southeast Asian nation had previously warned Western artistes not to be too “raunchy” so as not to offend local sensitivities when performing in Malaysia.
When Grammy-winning rap-rock band Linkin Park performed in Malaysia in 2003, the Ministry of Culture and Arts warned them not to wear shorts, scream or exhibit raunchy behavior. The following year, Mariah Carey was told to “dress accordingly” for her concert.
Mohamad Arif said the organizers took advantage of the fact that the council did not send officers to monitor the Pussycat Dolls concert, which was held near the surf pool area of the Sunway Lagoon theme park.
The fine came a day after Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Rais Yatim was quoted in the local media as saying the group took Malaysia “for a ride” by their alleged indecency.
“I believe the way the Pussycat Dolls behaved on stage amounted to gross indecency,” said Rais, according to the paper. “The Pussycat Dolls reportedly put on a show which not only featured scantily-dressed performers but also included sensuous elements,” he said.
Officials have said they were not present at the concert, and based their comments on what they saw or read in local newspapers.