Lavigne Plays Malaysia

Avril Lavigne was allowed to perform August 29 in Kuala Lumpur following several days of negotiations between the local concert organizer and the government, which previously said it might ban the performance as being contrary to “Malaysian culture and values.”

The concert organizer, Galaxy Group, began selling tickets and advertising the Lavigne shows before it requested approval from the Central Committee for Filming and Performance by Foreign Artists (Puspal).

The youth wing of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party then complained about the upcoming concert at the end of August, saying the Canadian singer’s stage act is “too sexy.”

The party sent a protest letter to the Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry, asking it to cancel the concert. The government said the letter had no influence on its decision, but Puspal stated it had not yet approved the concert.

Malaysia requires all performers to be covered from chest to knees. In addition, they are prohibited from jumping, shouting or shows of physical affection on stage, such as kissing or hugging. Previously, Gwen Stefani performed in Malaysia more heavily clothed than usual. Christina Aguilera, however, decided to sidestep the mostly Muslim country on her last Asian tour and Beyoncé moved a planned Malaysian concert to Indonesia rather than change her show.

One of the reasons the Lavigne concert attracted attention was that it took place two days before a patriotic holiday.

Galaxy assured the government the singer would adhere to the restrictions, and the ministry reportedly monitored the performance to make sure she did.