Malaysia in popular culture

on Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Malaysia is not very well internationally known.  Obviously.  The only reference many of my American friends know is from the movie Zoolander.  Side note: I didn't know until recently the movie was banned here because of the its plot to kill the Malaysian prime-minister and its depiction as "impoverished and dependent on sweatshops".  All Asian releases of the movie replaced the name "Malaysia" with "Micronesia".  Seriously, Malaysia, you need to learn how to take a joke.  But the story gets even better, because Owen Wilson got to meet the Prime minister (rather, the prime minister had the privilege of meeting Owen Wilson) earlier this year.  

Malaysia does also not appreciate a good show.  Malaysian regulations state that "all performers are to wear clothes without obscene or drug-related images and be covered from chest to knees. They must also refrain from jumping, shouting, hugging and kissing on stage".  There was a boycott of Avril Lavigne performing here 4 years ago.  "Her onstage moves were considered too provocative for Malaysia's teenage population".   The Pussycat Dolls performed and were fined $2857 for "flouting decency regulations".  Gwen Stefani said she made a "major sacrifice" by changing her wardrobe to reveal less skin.  Mariah Carey protested the regulations by wearing jeans and a t-shirt for her entire show.  Erykah Badu, on a different note, was banned from performing because she had a tattoo of the word "allah". Christina Aguilera and Beyonce gave up here and rescheduled for Indonesia.  Jennifer Lopez is set to perform here in December; perhaps she's looked on more favorably because I haven't heard anything as of yet.

I guess I make it sound like Malaysia is only known for its censorship.  But it's also known for positive things, too.  Like being the site of Survivor season 1 and *almost* winning Olympic gold in men's badminton this year.

But wait, there's more!  Prince William and the Dutchess of Cambridge are set to arrive in 2 days as part of the Diamond Jubilee Tour.  Malaysia is a former British colony, after all.  I'm rather disappointed in their venue selections, but probably because I'm jealous I can't join in the fun.


Trevor and Madie said...

Good job Malaysia for banning Avril. She should be banned everywhere.