KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - R&B star Beyonce Knowles has axed her debut concert in Malaysia in protest against the nation’s ultra-strict dress code and over fears of a Muslim outcry over her show, an industry source said on Tuesday.
Her agent ICM cited a “scheduling conflict” as the reason, but the source said unofficially she was unhappy over a possible hostile reception in the mainly Muslim nation.
“They foresee that when she comes over to Kuala Lumpur, there will be protests against her,” the source said. “They didn’t want that to happen.”
Although Malaysia is a moderate Muslim country with sizeable non-Muslim minorities, conservative groups often frown upon departures from strict Koranic injunctions.
The source also said Beyonce, known for her skimpy outfits, also balked at government rules banning sexy attire and running and jumping on stage.
“You mean when she comes to Malaysia she has to change all her stuff?” the source added.
“It’s also beyond the dressing. She has to change the show. Basically, the ministry wants her to stand in front of the microphone and open her mouth. Just sing and cannot move.”
Ironically, Beyonce will instead perform in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta on November 1. Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim country.
Last August, singer Gwen Stefani proceeded with her show in Malaysia despite calls from Muslim students who demanded that the event be cancelled as being too obscene.
But she wore no revealing costumes in line with the guidelines.