Beyonce Knowles has scrapped plans to stage her first concert in Malaysia and will instead perform in neighboring Indonesia, which has less stringent rules about how performers should dress and behave.
The announcement followed recent speculation that Knowles — who is famous for her sexy image and skimpy outfits — was reluctant to fulfill the Malaysian government’s demand for female performers to cover up from the top of their chests to their knees, including their shoulders.
International Creative Management, her Los Angeles-based talent agency, said Knowles’ Nov. 1 date in Kuala Lumpur was canceled “due to a scheduling conflict.”
“It is with regret that we announce the cancellation of The Beyonce Experience World Tour in Kuala Lumpur,” said the ICM statement, which was made available Monday by Malaysian entertainment organizers Pineapple Concerts. “It was to mark the very first time the performer would bring her show to Malaysia.”
Knowles, 26, will perform in Jakarta on Nov. 1.
“Though Indonesia is also a Muslim country, it doesn’t have all these issues that we have,” Razlan told The Associated Press. “She can perform as she likes there.”
Concert promoters have said Western performers face mounting pressure in Malaysia to keep skimpy clothes and steamy dance moves off the stage amid protests by conservative Muslims who believe liberal Western performances can corrupt young people.
Gwen Stefani made what she called “a major sacrifice” in August by wearing clothes that revealed little skin at a Kuala Lumpur stadium concert after Muslim students and activists called for the performance to be canceled due to the singer’s sultry reputation.