The Malaysian government has ordered an investigation into the Malaysia Tattoo Expo 2019 at Kuala Lumpur for supposedly "obscene" content.
Event does not reflect Malaysian culture which has 'morals'
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Mohamaddin Ketapi condemned the event as "obscene" and said:
"Organising an international event is good for the national tourism industry, but not this way. It does not reflect the real Malaysia which is full of manners and morals."
He added that while he understood that the event took place behind closed doors, the government did not approve the use of semi-nude models, given that the majority of Malaysia's population was Muslim, reported Malaysiakini.
Said Mohamaddin, according to the Bangkok Post:
"It's impossible for the ministry to approve any application for events that have obscene elements such as this, because it is not Malaysian culture, what more when the majority of Malaysians are Muslim."
Event organisers called in for questioning
The event's organisers have since been called in for questioning.
Mohamaddin added that the government was now waiting for a full report to determine if action should be taken.
Meanwhile, the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) stated that the organisers had obtained approval from the authorities and provided the required documentation, FMT reported.
MyCEB also noted that it was the responsibility of the organisers to make sure that the event proceeded according to rules and regulations.
Previous expos held without incident
The event was held at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 and saw participants from over 35 countries.
Previously, the event had been held in Sabah in 2015, 2016 and 2017, The Star reported.
The Deputy Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister, Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik, noted that there had been no such incidents for those conventions.
Left image from Viral Terkini Malaysia Facebook, right photo by MOHD RASFAN/AFP via Getty Images