Avril Lavigne is getting under the skin of Malaysian censors.
A hard-line Islamic opposition party in the Southeast Asian country is calling on the government to scuttle an upcoming concert featuring the “Sk8er Boi” singer, calling her stage act way “too sexy” for local tastes.
Officials with the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party’s youth wing contend Lavigne’s Aug. 29 performance in Kuala Lumpur would set a bad example for citizens, especially coming two days before the nation’s Aug. 31 Independence Day holiday.
“It is considered too sexy for us…it’s not good for viewers in Malaysia,” party official Kamarulzaman Mohamed was quoted by the Associated Press as saying. “We don’t want our people, our teenagers, influenced by their performance. We want clean artists, artists that are good role models.”
Kamarulzaman subsequently sent letters of protest last week to Malaysia’s Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry and Kuala Lumpur’s mayor demanding the gig be canceled.
No word yet what the Ministry plans to do.
Officials there have yet to approve the application submitted last week by the promoter, Galaxy Group, seeking a permit on behalf of the Canadian pop-punkster. However, a committee will supposedly take up the issue during a meeting on Tuesday.
Still, organizers claim Galaxy has received “very positive” reaction from the Ministry so far.
A rep for the group expressed certainty that its request would go through, noting that the 23-year-old Lavigne’s act does not contain any “negative elements” that would offend the sensibilities of local concertgoers.
A largely conservative society where Islam is the official religion, Malaysia has a strict policy when it comes to maintaining traditional values, banning performers from exhibiting “obscene” behavior on stage–defined by government officials as define jumping, shouting, hugging and kissing or displaying any sexual imagery or drug references.
Additionally, artists are now allowed to wear anything revealing and must cover themselves from the chest to the knees in line with conservative Muslim edicts.
There was no immediate comment from Lavinge’s camp.
Christina Aguilera avoided the country altogether during a trek through the region last year, while Gwen Stefani decided to forego the belly-button ring and her usual stripped-down fashion statement to placate the powers that be.