No longer deemed “too sexy”
Kuala Lumpur (dpa) – Malaysian authorities have reversed their decision to cancel a concert by Canadian pop-rock star Avril Lavigne, days after they ruled that her show was unsuitable for local youths, a senior official said Monday.
“After discussions with organizers, we have agreed to allow the show to go on,” a spokesman for the Arts, Culture and Heritage Ministry said.
Its minister Shafie Apdal had sparked criticisms of being “closed- minded” on Wednesday when he said Lavigne’s show would be cancelled because it was unsuitable for Malaysian culture and could not be held on August 29, two days ahead of independence day and nearing the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.
However, the ministry official said the decision has seen [since?] been reversed, but declined to give a specific reason.
“The minister is showing our country to be a closed-minded, childish country that objects to anything different from our own culture,” said Leow, a Lavigne fan who had purchased tickets for her concert weeks earlier.
“It’s a relief that they’ve come to their senses now,” he said.
Lavigne, 23, will be performing in this Muslim-majority nation for the first time.
The youth wing of a hardline opposition Islamic group had earlier called for the show to be canceled, saying Lavigne’s performances were too raunchy for youths.
Malaysian Western music fans are often forced to travel to neighbouring countries such as Indonesia and Singapore to catch their favourite stars due to strict guidelines imposed on performers.
Last year, R&B singer Beyonce moved her show from Malaysia to Indonesia, and Christina Aguilera skipped the country on an Asian tour after a controversy erupted over a dress code for foreign artists.
Malaysia requires all performers to wear clothes without obscene or drug-related images and to be covered from the chest to the knees. They must also refrain from jumping, shouting, hugging and kissing on stage.