A Malaysian beach resort has called off a preview for an international bikini contest after drawing the ire of the local government in the Muslim-majority country, its staff said Friday.
The Pangkor Island Beach Resort on Malaysia’s west coast decided to scrap the promotion for the Miss Bikini World Hawaii pageant during a beach party next month, said Doris Chin, the resort's director of sales and marketing.
The decision followed a meeting Thursday with officials of northern Perak state, who deemed the program unsuitable in this conservative country. Muslim opposition politicians also protested against it.
“We will not have any Miss Bikini previewing,” Chin told AFP. “We respect the government requirement and the local culture.”
The pageant launch, which was to include ice caving, would have been part of a two-day beach party and DJ contest at the resort on October 7 and 8.
Chin said the party would go ahead but there would be no models in bikinis walking on stage.
The state youth wing of the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) had earlier protested at the resort's plan to promote the bikini pageant.
“We hope for swift action from the state government and stakeholders in maintaining Muslim morals and society in general because clearly the program indirectly damages the morals of our young,” its secretary general Salman Saleh said in a statement.
PAS frequently protests against concerts by international artists such as Beyonce and Gwen Stefani, leading some of them to avoid Malaysia, which also has a strict dress code requiring performers to be covered from shoulders to knees.