Malaysia's Islamic opposition calls for Gwen Stefani concert to be canceled.
KUALA LUMPUR (AP): Malaysia's Islamic opposition party demanded Friday that Gwen Stefani be forbidden from performing in the country, saying the US pop singer would corrupt Malaysia's Muslim majority youth.
Kamarulzaman Mohamed, an official to the fundamentalist Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), said Stefani's planned concert in Kuala Lumpur later this month would promote promiscuity, worsening an existing "teenage social problem".
"The issue is that Gwen Stefani brings in her bad image. The way she dances, the way she dresses - it's not proper," he told The Associated Press. "When our teenagers see this, it will induce them to behave improperly."
Earlier Friday, members of the party, the only opposition party to rule a state in Malaysia, handed a two-page memorandum to the organizer, Maxis Communication Berhad, to call of the Aug. 21 concert. They also submitted a memorandum to the Kuala Lumpur municipal authorities.
Their protests, however, is unlikely to have effect, and preparations for the concert are well-underway, and Stefani has promised to dress modestly.
Following a similar protest by the 10,000-member National Union of Malaysia Muslim Students earlier, organizer Maxis pledged that Stefani will follow the local code of ethics for foreign artists, which bans the unnecassary baring of skin.
In Malaysia, ethnic Malay Muslims form about 60 percent of the population, with ethnic Chinese and Indians of Christian, Buddhist and Hindu faiths forming most of the rest.
Maxis, the country's biggest mobile phone company, hopes to attract some 9,000 people to the concert, which is part of the 37-year-old singer's Sweet Escape world tour that also includes Australia, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand.
The Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry said enforcement officers would meet Stefani before the concert to remind her about guidelines and monitor her stage act.
Under the official guide to performing in Malaysia, a female artist needs to cover from the top of her chest to her knees including shoulders. No jumping, shouting or throwing objects on stage or at the audience is allowed. Performers can also not hug or kiss and their clothes must not have obscene or drug-related images or messages.
A local company, which organized a Pussycat Dolls concert last year, was fined 10,000 ringgit (US$2,857) after the all-girl group was found to have flouted decency regulations.