Selena Gomez has caused a divide in Malaysian politics over her recent gig in the country.
In July 2016, the ‘Hands To Myself’ pop sensation played a show in Malaysia as part of her ‘Revival’ world tour. It caused a big rupture across the country, with many declaring the show’s “sexy” image as “anti-Islamist”, as Noisey reports.
Among the most outraged were opposition political party Islamist Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS), whose youth wing claimed that Gomez’s show would “further stoke the hedonistic culture among the country’s youths”, and placed the blame squarely on fellow opposition parties Democratic Action Party (DAP), and the centrist Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).
“They were excited about the Selena Gomez concert, disregarding views from PAS, Muslims and Muslim NGOs,” claimed Aubidullah Fahim Ibrahim, a member of the Shah Alam chapter of the PAS youth wing.
Critics have deemed the comments as a political move from PAS, who will face-off against their fellow opposition parties in the run-up to a seemingly impending Malaysian snap election. The country is currently governed by the controversy-plagued Barisan Nasional coalition, who are themselves embroiled in a corruption scandal – with the governing party weakened, PAS appear to be taking a hardline stance against any potential future coalition agreements.
Gomez went ahead with her concert as planned last year and wore a more modest outfit at the gig, which she said was “out of respect for the culture and religion of Malaysia.”
It’s not the only controversy Gomez has found herself embroiled in recently. Her executive producer role on Netflix hit 13 Reasons Why has also drawn scrutiny, with the singer forced to respond to criticism of the show and her involvement. 13 Reasons Why has been criticised by many for its ‘glamorised’ depiction of suicide and mental health issues.
Selena Gomez’ second solo album ‘Revival’ was released in 2015. She is reportedly working on a follow-up.