Despite reports in recent days that Avril Lavigne’s concert in Malaysia had been blocked because of government fears that the singer’s image is “too sexy” — and subsequent reports that it had either been canceled or postponed because it could mar the country’s independence day celebrations — the singer told MTV News on Thursday (August 21) that it’s going ahead.
“Well, I’ve actually been approved by the government to play a show,” she said. “I’ve already sold 10,000 tickets there, so I will be going to put on a concert for the fans.
“They tend to, you know, sometimes not want Western artists in their country,” she continued. “I respect that, but at the same time, you know, there’s people that listen to music there and want to see their idols and stuff, so it’s all good: been approved by the government and [I’m] going to go put on a show and have fun.”
Malaysia’s Islamic opposition party, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, had been trying to cancel or postpone a Lavigne show scheduled for the country’s capital on August 29 saying her moves and stage show were “too sexy.” The party took offense with the pop singer taking the stage and possibly promoting the wrong values just days ahead of the country’s independence day on August 31.
The flap over the Lavigne show wasn’t the first time the country’s officials had looked negatively at a show by a Western female pop singer. In the past, they forced Gwen Stefani to cover up her world-famous belly, drove Beyoncé and Christina Aguilera to neighboring shores to avoid a hassle and rang up several thousand dollars in fines against a Pussycat Dolls concert in 2006 for flouting decency rules.
All along, the promoter of the Lavigne concert, Galaxy Productions, had said that the show would not have any “negative elements.” Malaysia requires performers to be covered from chest to knees and avoid clothes that feature obscene or drug-related images, as well as eschewing any jumping, shouting, hugging and kissing onstage.