Black Eyed Peas’ Arthur’s Day concert for non-Muslims only

(The Malaysian Insider) KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 27 — Malaysia has allowed hip-hop group Black Eyed Peas to play at Arthur's Day in Sunway Lagoon on Sept 25 — one of four official global spots celebrating Guinness Stout's 250th anniversary — but only for non-Muslims.

The Information, Communication and Culture Ministry had put in this condition, apart from telling the brewery not to put any logos or sell the bitter-sweet brew at the concert which also features local act Reshmonu, several bands and deejays.

It is learnt that music concert rules disallow breweries or alcoholic drinks makers from sponsoring such events but the ministry relented as the concert is expected to boost the tourism industry affected by the recession and the A(H1N1) flu outbreak.

A sentence in the local Arthur's Day website — — states the event is only for non-Muslims aged 18 and above. The concert at the Sunway Lagoon Surf Beach costs RM103 an entry.

Kuala Lumpur is the Asia-Pacific venue for Arthur's Day, celebrating founder Arthur Guinness who opened the brewery in Dublin in 1759 with a 9,000-year lease and is now one of the world's most recognisable brands. Malaysia, which prides itself for being a Muslim nation, is one of the top 10 Guinness consuming countries in the world with the bitter available everywhere.

Apart from the Kuala Lumpur concert, Guinness is organising concerts in hometown Dublin and London apart from events in Australia, Canada, Indonesia and the United States.

Only non-Muslims will be allowed to attend the Peas’ concert next month. — Reuters pic

The restrictions on Muslims comes on the back of the suspended caning for a Muslim mother-of-two caught drinking beer, PAS protests against beer sales at convenience outlets in Selangor and the Michael Learns To Rock concert in Genting Highlands on Sept 5 which falls during the current Ramadan fasting month.

Both PAS and Umno, the dominant party in the ruling Barisan Nasional federal government, have been at pains to flash their Islamic credentials for the crucial Malay vote.

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