U.S. pop singer Gwen Stefani will not wear revealing costumes during her concert in Malaysia, the show's organizer said Thursday, after protests from Muslim students about her sexy outfits and steamy acts.
Maxis Communications Bhd. said it "respects the values and conventions of this country" and pledged that Stefani would follow the local code of ethics for foreign artists, which bans the unnecessary baring of skin.
"Gwen Stefani has confirmed that her concert will not feature any revealing costumes. She will abide by the Malaysian authorities' guidelines to ensure that her show will not be offensive to local sensitivities," it said in a statement to The Associated Press.
Maxis, the country's biggest mobile phone company, said tickets were selling fast.
Maxis hopes to attract some 9,000 people to the Aug 21. concert, which is part of the 37-year-old singer's Sweet Escape world tour that also includes Australia, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand.
The National Union of Malaysian Muslim Students, which has some 10,000 members, charged that Stefani's skimpy dressing and cheeky performances clashed with Islamic values.
"Her performance and her attire are not suitable for our culture. It promotes a certain degree of obscenity and will encourage youth to emulate the western lifestyle. The concert should be stopped," the union's vice president, Abdul Muntaqim, told The AP.
Ethnic Malay Muslims form about 60 percent of Malaysia's population, with ethnic Chinese and Indians of Christian, Buddhist and Hindu faiths forming most of the rest.
Siti Zaleha Baba, a senior official at the Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry, said the concert would go on but enforcement officers would meet Stefani before the concert to remind her about local guidelines as well as monitor her stage act.
"There is no problem so far. (The concert promoter) has told us what clothes she will wear for the concert," she added.
Under the official guide to performing in Malaysia, a female artist needs to cover from the top of her chest to her knees including shoulders. No jumping, shouting or throwing of objects on stage or at the audience is allowed. Performers can also not hug or kiss and their clothes must not have obscene or drug-related images or messages.
A local company, which organized a PussyCat Dolls concert last year, was fined 10,000 ringgit (US$2,857, EUR 2,091) after the U.S. all-girl group was found to have flouted decency regulations.