20 August, 2008

Yet another shit-for-brains move - Lavigne 'too sexy' for Malaysia, Islamists say

Malaysia has cancelled a concert by Canadian rock singer Avril Lavigne after the Islamic opposition slammed the show as being "too sexy".

The Arts, Culture and Heritage Ministry said it was unsuitable for Malaysian culture and could not be held on August 29, two days ahead of the country's independence day.

The government's decision comes after the youth wing of a fundamentalist opposition party, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, called for the show's to be scrapped.

Lavigne, a Grammy-nominated rock singer who burst to fame with her 2002 debut album "Let's Go," plans to start her monthlong Asia tour with a performance in Kuala Lumpur on August 29.

The youth wing of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party said Lavigne's concert would promote wrong values ahead of Malaysia's August 31 independence day.

"It is considered too sexy for us. ... It's not good for viewers in Malaysia," said Kamarulzaman Mohamed, a party official. "We don't want our people, our teenagers, influenced by their performance. We want clean artists, artists that are good role models."

Kamarulzaman said he sent a protest letter to the Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry and the Kuala Lumpur mayor last week, calling for the concert to be canceled.

Last ditch efforts are being made to stage the Avril Lavigne concert at Stadium Merdeka on Aug 29.

The organisers are expected to meet officials of the Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry Thursday.

"We are optimistic that the ministry officials will listen to our appeals as there is support for the concert,'' a spokesman said.

It is understood that no official notice has been sent to the organisers, Galaxy Productions, on the status of the concert despite media reports that it has been called off.

The status of the concert appears uncertain as minister Datuk Shafie Apdal said the relevant authorities would make a decision on the matter this week.

However, he also said he did not want the concert to coincide with the Merdeka period and the tahlil religious programme on Aug 29.

"We don't want the day to be filled with such pop and rock culture. We should be instilling a good culture in the young but here we are allowing other parties to organise things," he said.

"All organisers, local and foreign, should adhere to the rules and regulations before promoting the concert and selling tickets to the public," he said, adding that the organisers should consult the relevant authorities.

On whether the Ministry's decision was in response to PAS Youth's call earlier this month for the concert to be cancelled, he said: "No."

Last year, pop singer Gwen Stefani made what she called "a major sacrifice" by donning clothes that revealed little skin at a performance here.

Also last year, Christina Aguilera skipped Malaysia during an Asian tour that included neighboring Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines, while R&B superstar Beyonce scratched a planned concert here, moving it to Indonesia.

A Pussycat Dolls concert in 2006 was fined 10,000 ringgit (US $2,857) after the U.S. girl group was accused of flouting decency regulations.


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