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Erykah Badu concert cancelled

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 (Bernama) -- A concert featuring American songstress Erykah Badu scheduled to be held in the city tomorrow night has been cancelled for allegedly violating Central Agency for the Application for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artistes (Puspal) guidelines.

Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, in a statement published by his Tumblr account, cited that the performer had touched religious sensitivities and failed to meet Malaysian cultural values standards, as well as guidelines set by Puspal.

He said a photograph showing a tattoo of the word Allah in Arabic on the artiste's bare body was an insult to Islam and regarded as a serious offence.

"This has raised objections from the community which can threaten national security and have a negative impact on the government's image," he added.

Rais said a Puspal meeting today decided to stop the concert based on the views of its members, especially the Home Ministry, Islamic Development Department (Jakim) and Royal Malaysia Police.

"With the graphic exhibition of "Allah" on the body of the singer, it is sufficient to warrant irrefutable religious controversies from among Muslims who disdain such practice. The committee's decision to disallow the entertainer to perform publicly is in our view justified.

"To proceed with such public performance would only attract bigger and more cascading difficulties the likes of which we cannot afford to have under the present circumstances. Symbolism of Allah and Prophet Muhammad in the realm of exhibitive entertainment is not in the order Muslims' acceptance," said Rais.

Yesterday, local daily The Star published the singer's photograph in its entertainment section which showed her face and part of her body which boasted various tattoos including two on the word Allah in Arabic.

The Star has been called up by the Home Ministry to provide an explanation on the published picture, and is required to respond to a show cause letter within a week.

The newspaper has made an apology in its mainstream publication and news portal in regards to the photograph.


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