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Beyonce postpones Malaysia concert amid protests

 Beyonce performs during the 2008 American Music Awards in Los Angeles, November 23, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni - Reuters
Beyonce performs during the 2008 American Music Awards in Los Angeles, November 23, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
— image credit: Reuters

By Belinda Goldsmith

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (Reuters) - Beyonce has postponed a planned concert in Malaysia after the nation's opposition Islamist party raised concerns about her performance, citing moral issues, concert organizers said.

Foreign acts often draw protests by the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), whose youth wing forced Beyonce to cancel her 2007 concert in the mainly Muslim nation of 27 million people.

Malaysian entertainment company Marctensia said in a statement on its website that the Beyonce "I am ..." concert, planned for October 25 as part of her world tour, would be postponed to a date yet to be announced.

"The postponement is solely (the) decision of the artist and has nothing to do with other external reasons," the concert organizers said in the statement.

No further reason was given. Marctensia said a new date for the concert would be announced "shortly" and a statement from Beyonce's management would be released later this week.

The youth wing of PAS sought last year to prevent Canadian singer Avril Lavigne from performing in Malaysia.

Earlier this month, Malaysia initially banned Muslims from attending a concert by U.S. hip-hop band Black Eyed Peas, which was sponsored by Guinness, one of the brands owned by the world's biggest spirits group, Diageo.

The ban was reversed, but a senior official said it was up to each individual's "better judgment" whether to attend the event.

Malaysia's image as a moderate Muslim country was hit when a woman caught drinking beer recently was sentenced to be caned.

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