24 September, 2009

Beyonce & beyond

Beyonce Knowles has sung about partying like a "naughty girl," but Malaysians can expect her to be on her best behavior for a concert in this Muslim-majority country next month, the event's organizer said.

Knowles, who is well-known for her provocative clothes and concert choreography, backed out of a concert in Malaysia two years ago after the Islamic party threatened to protest the show. Party officials have not planned any demonstrations for next month's event.

Entertainment company Marctensia, the concert's Malaysian organizer, said Knowles should be regarded as a "role model" and "embodiment of success" because of her heavy involvement in philanthropy work, including campaigns against poverty and domestic violence.

The company also allayed concerns that Knowles would wear inappropriate outfits, saying "all parties have come to an amicable understanding" about stage costumes at the stadium concert in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's largest city.

"We are confident that (the concert) will once and for all silence international critics and put Malaysia back on track ... in presenting A-list international pop concerts in this region," Marctensia said in a statement.

However, according to the Associated Press, the Grammy Award-winning superstar still isn’t receiving the ‘Diva’ treatment that she’s accustomed to: earlier this week, Sabki Yusof, head of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party,stated that his organization would send a protest note to the government over the singer’s show.

Ahmad Sabki, Pas Youth's vice-chief, said they were opposed to Western entertainment such as that of the R and B lady, known for her sexy attire and seductive dancing, in Malaysia.

"We know that these groups are not suitable for our Malaysian culture. Their appearance and attire are against our Eastern identity," the New Straits Times Online quoted him as saying.

Sabki also said that even if the star, who is expected to perform in the country as part of her "Beyonce I Am ..." world tour, wore a jubah (Muslim attire), her "sexy image" could not be undone.

He added: "We are against Western entertainment that promotes hedonism. We do not want our youths to be misled.

"We have in the past objected to Indonesian dangdut artiste Inul Daratista performing in Malaysia as she is also well known for her sexy gyrations."

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