Ramadan in Malaysia: blooper time

Here’s another reason why Unspun chooses not to live in Malaysia, only this time there’s a reprieve because the offending ads below got canned.

But check out that signalment where they have to pixilate the “loud” woman’s exposed upper arms. In Malaysia, believe it or not, TV is not supposed to show a woman’s upper arms or armpits. They say it’s something to do with religion but Unspun suspects that government censors in Malaysia have an unhealthy fetish for armpits.

Media Prima pulls out ‘racist’ Ramadan ads

UPDATED @ 05:32:41 PM 02-08-2011 By Yow Hong Chieh August 02, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 — Media Prima Bhd was forced today to axe a controversial series of Ramadan commercials on its 8TV channel after heavy public criticism and claims that the advertisements were racist in nature.

Media Prima chief operating officer Ahmad Izham Omar announced the decision on micro-blogging site Twitter after coming under fire for the allegedly condescending tone of the public service announcements.

“Ok guys. We’re pulling out the ads. Thank you very much for your concern,” he wrote at 3.40pm today.

Ahmad Izham then appeared to make light of the matter by changing the topic just seven minutes later.

“And now to more important things… Does a horn section sound better with 4 trombones? Or would just 3 trombones be enough?” he wrote.

The former 8TV chief executive had earlier tried to deflect growing criticism by asking people to “chill” and not to “overanalyse” the commercial, which advises non-Muslims how to behave during Ramadan.

Released as a public service announcement on 8TV, the three commercials depict a socially-inept “Chinese” girl eating in public, wearing revealing clothing and being loud and obnoxious during the Muslim fasting month.

The advertisements then suggest that non-Muslims refrain from such behaviour while in public, urging them to “please understand and respect the significance of Ramadan”.

Media Prima previously attracted flak from Muslims last year for airing a Hari Raya commercial with alleged Christmas overtones on TV3, another channel in its stable which also includes ntv7 and TV9.

Like 8TV’s Ramadan commercials, the Hari Raya advertisement was taken off the air after it stirred a storm of protests online.

Prior to that, 8TV was fined RM50,000 by the Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) for airing an advertisement by Danish beermaker Carlsberg during the Euro 2004 championships.

via Media Prima pulls out ‘racist’ Ramadan ads – The Malaysian Insider.

4 thoughts on “Ramadan in Malaysia: blooper time

Add yours

  1. Withdrawing the ad and asking people to ‘chill out’ is not an admission of wrong or guilt. TV8 needs to make a public apology.
    Perhaps the police should look into this as a series of ‘seditious’comments. After all the police came on pretty hard on a lady who complained about some persecution in Penang!

    No point complaining about Racism and bigotry. The people who see the injustice must also act.

    One can boycott TV8 by not watching. That doesn’t really hurt. Tell you what I’m going to do:
    1. Watch TV8 now for a week (and I don’t normally watch TV!)
    2. Make a list of those products that place advertisement on TV8
    3. Write to all these companies and tell them I am going to boycott their products if they don’t remove their ads from TV8 for a month (this whole month of ramaddan)
    4. If no apology comes out of TV8, then I will continue to boycott their products for 6 months
    5. I will tell all my friends what I’m going to do (and I am on facebook too!)


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