Beyonce postpones Malaysia gig amid Islamist ire

Beyonce poses at a promotional event for Japanese fashion brand Samantha Thavasa in Tokyo October 16, 2009. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - U.S. pop star Beyonce has postponed a planned concert in Malaysia after the nation’s opposition Islamist party raised concerns about her performance, citing moral issues, concert organisers said.

Foreign acts often draw protests by the Pan Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), whose youth wing forced Beyonce to cancel her 2007 concert in the mainly Muslim nation of 27 million people.

Malaysian entertainment company Marctensia said in a statement on its website that the Beyonce “I am...” concert, planned for Oct. 25 as part of her world tour, would be postponed to a date yet to be announced.

“The postponement is solely (the) decision of the artiste and has nothing to do with other external reasons,” the concert organisers said in the statement.

No further reason was given. Marctensia said a new date for the concert would be announced “shortly” and a statement from Beyonce’s management would be released later this week.

PAS’s youth wing also sought last year to prevent Canadian singer Avril Lavigne from performing in Malaysia.

Earlier this month, Malaysia initially banned Muslims from attending a concert by U.S. hip-hop band The Black Eyed Peas, which was sponsored by Guinness, one of the brands owned by the world’s biggest spirits group, Diageo.

The ban was reversed, but a senior official said it was up to each individual’s “better judgment” whether to attend the event.

Malaysia’s image as a moderate Muslim country was hit when a woman caught drinking beer was sentenced recently to be caned.

Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Paul Tait