Sunday September 26, 2004

Malaysia's ruling party members seek
curb on 'immoral' reality TV shows

KUALA LUMPUR : Members of Malaysia's ruling party have called for curbs on reality television show which they claim tarnish moral values and violate Islamic principles, a report said Sunday.
Popular western series Fear Factor and local singing program Akademia Fantasia are not aligned with the values of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's progressive "Islam Hadhari" concept, The Sunday Star quoted delegates as saying at the just-ended meeting of the United Malays National Organisation.
Youth delegate Pirdaus Ismail said participants in Fear Factor were challenged to eat forbidden things in Islam or asked to jump off tall buildings.
Another delegate Mohamad Nor Mohamad Kassim said Akademia Fantasia, modelled after the US smash reality show American Idol, tarnished moral values.
"The contestants hug each other on stage. Boys and girls mix freely with each other. It shows that there is no limit to glamour and socialising," he said.
Although Islam allows entertainment, he said it was "illegal when there are instances of relations between a man and woman who are not related".
Islam is the official religion in mainly Muslim Malaysia, but there is also a large minority of ethnic Chinese and Indians. The country has strict censorship laws, often banning songs with foul language and cutting or axeing films deemed too sexy or touching on sensitive issues.

Parent site: "Focus on Malaysia"