Malaysia’s main opposition party called on the government to cancel a concert featuring Canadian pop/punk princess Avril Lavigne. Why? The singer’s on-stage moves are too sexy. The Pan Malaysian Islamic Party’s youth wing made the request.
The government wrote off the request as moralist nonsense, right?
Actually, they took the advice seriously and canceled Lavigne’s concert. Aside from being “too sexy,” there was also something in the explanation from the Arts, Culture and Heritage Ministry about the concert being held on August 29th, just two days before Malaysia’s independence day.
How have other “sexy” artists fared in Malaysia in the past? Gwen Stefani was forced to cover up more than usual for a recent show. The Pussycat Dolls were actually fined for indecency in 2006. Beyonce moved her recent concert to Indonesia and Christina Aguilera opted for Singapore. The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party even protests at some concert by Malaysian artists. One wonders how the censorship is going to jive with Malaysia’s Vision 2020, an ambitious project to join the list of fully developed nations by the year 2020.