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PAS: ‘“A good thing” tours are skipping Malaysia’

A spokesman for PAS, a hardline Islamist political party in Malaysia, has welcomed reports suggesting many international pop artists are giving the country a wide berth when routing their tours, saying a dearth of concerts will strengthen the moral fibre of Malaysian youth.

In an extraordinary article for party newspaper Harakah Daily, Riduan Mohamad Nor, a member of the PAS central committee, claims Malaysia’s Muslims are “saving the country” from “wild entertainment” – and that news of the cancellation of shows by Coldplay, Megadeth, Beyoncé, Celine Dion is a victory against the “spreading of the culture of entertainment”, which encourages God-fearing Malaysians to commit adultery, drink alcohol, take drugs, fight each other and indulge in other “vices” forbidden by conservative Islam.

Nor’s intervention comes after Reuters suggested late last year that international stars, “especially those known for risqué lyrics or revealing clothing”, are increasingly unlikely to choose to tour Malaysia.

According to a recent UN report, there is growing pressure for Malaysian Muslims, who make up 62% of the population, to adhere to a rigid, fundamentalist, Arabised version of Islam; consequently, said Darren Choy, chairman of the Recording Industry Association of Malaysia, the country will “not be the first choice for any act to tour” when in south-east Asia.

“Let those who worship international celebrities get their entertainment abroad”

That, writes Nor, is “a good thing especially for the […] the younger generation. We may be viewed negatively by some, but it can protect the society and the country.”

Concert promoters, he continues, “should know that Malaysia is not an entertainment hub.

“Let those who love entertainment, and worshipers of international celebrities, get their entertainment abroad. Go to any south-east Asian country to see those artists, but not in Malaysia.”

PAS (Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party), which holds 13 seats in Malaysia’s 222-seat House of Representatives, was last seen in IQ calling for the cancellation of a show by Selena Gomez, who it described as “too sexy” for Malaysia.

 


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Selena Gomez to sell Revival tour outfits

Selena Gomez has announced the launch of a fashion line based on her stage outfits from the ongoing Revival tour.

Gomez – who performed in the Philippines last weekend and will play two nights at the Tokyo Forum (5,012-cap.) tomorrow and Wednesday – made the announcement on Saturday, revealing the collection will be a collaboration with designer Sami Miro.

Gomez’s tour outfits so far have included various sparkly leotards, a diamond-encrusted catsuit and the see-through-turtleneck-with-denim-boob-square number pictured above.

She toned down her outfits for a recent stop in Malaysia after an Islamist party claimed the singer’s “sexy appearance” “tarnishes the glory” of the Muslim holy month of Shawwal.

 


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Selena Gomez too sexy for Malaysia

The youth wing of a Malaysian political party has called for Selena Gomez to be banned from the country, claiming that the American singer’s upcoming show at the Stadium Malawati (13,000-cap.) in Selangor “tarnishes the glory” of the month of Shawwal, when Malay Muslims celebrate the holiday of Hari Raya (Eid al-Adha).

Hafez Sabri, chairman of Pemuda PAS, the youth wing of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (Parti Islam Se-Malaysia, PAS), has asked the Selangor Islamic Religious Council to “restrict the presence of Selena Gomez, who can damage the faith, worship and morals of Muslims”, arguing that Gomez’s “sexy appearance” has the potential to “revive a culture of hedonism among the younger generation” in Malaysia.

“An American-born artist who is synonymous with a sexy appearance is tarnishing the glory of Shawwal”

Gomez will play in Malaysia on 25 July as part of her Revival tour, before moving on to Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines.

In a statement, Pemuda PAS says local government should have thought more “strictly and carefully” before granting promoter PR Worldwide a permit for the show, urging authorities to comply with guidelines set down by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) last year. The Sharia-compliant rules – which, among other things, impose a dress code on performers and mandate the separation of sexes – are not enforceable laws but should, says the Malaysian government, be followed by promoters.

 


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