March 23, 2023
SINGAPORE – After Thai K-pop singer Lisa and her Blackpink bandmates, a group of Thai hunks are the latest performers to draw flak from local politicians as they prepare to go on stage in Malaysia.
But the dancing, cross-dressing hunks employed by Thai restaurant Staneemeehoi for the opening of Privacy Club Tun Razak in Kuala Lumpur will not get to perform on March 30 as planned, after the Malaysian police ordered the event cancelled on Wednesday.
Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) had earlier denounced the event for promoting “a culture of hedonism, obscenity and free sex”.
“It is in conflict with local culture and insensitive to the position of Islam as the official religion, let alone it being held in the month of Ramadan,” PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan said in a statement.
PAS also expressed opposition to the club referencing former Malaysia prime minister Tun Abdul Razak in its name, saying it “insults the good name of the country’s leader”.
Malaysian police said they received 60 police reports as at 4pm on Wednesday.
Superintendent Ashari Abu Samah said the police have issued a stern warning to the club, and its management and the organiser have agreed to cancel the event.
He added that the police will monitor the premises in case any rules are broken.
Privacy Club Tun Razak also apologised over the event on Wednesday.
“In response to the issue that went viral on social media over the official opening of Privacy Club Tun Razak, we apologise and would like to inform that the programme, which was supposed to feature ‘Thai Hot Guy’ on March 30, has been cancelled.
“Privacy Tun Razak respects religious sensitivities in this country and will not go against any laws,” the management said in a statement.
Staneemeehoi is known for serving up beefy waiters as a unique selling point that differentiates it from other seafood eateries in the Thai capital.
Videos on social media show its well-sculpted employees dressed in women’s lingerie or Sailor Moon outfits cavorting with diners at their tables while music plays at regular intervals on regular nights at the restaurant.
The photogenic waiters have also been spotted in similarly stripped-down attire riding motorcycles as live advertising machinery for the restaurant while delivering meals and posing sultrily for photos with the restaurant’s customers.
PAS’ disapproval of the Thai waiters comes after previous resistance against foreign performers.
Earlier in March, Dr Mastura Muhammad, an MP for Kepala Batas in Penang, accused the government of double standards for allowing a Blackpink concert despite its “deviant” nature, with the K-pop group putting on a show in attire that “violated societal decency”.
Home Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the Thai Hot Guy event organiser should have been mindful of Muslim sensitivities.
“It is best for such events not to be continued because they could create a certain uneasiness. This is because Muslims worldwide will be welcoming Ramadan,” he said.
During the month of Ramadan, which begins on Thursday, Muslims will abstain from food and drink, as well as other temptations such as sex and smoking, during daylight hours.
“There must be mutual respect from those living in a multicultural society. They need to be aware of certain sensitivities of the respective communities,” said Datuk Seri Saifuddin.