‘Evil’ Hooters out to milk Malaysian culture, Muslim groups claim

hooter girls

(The Malay Mail) – Several Muslim groups here have vowed to foil any attempt by Hooters to open an outlet in Malaysia, accusing the American restaurant chain of an “evil” ploy to create discord and destroy the conservative local culture.

The groups said, however, that they were confident that Hooters would likely never open its doors in Malaysia due to strict regulation here against obscene entertainment.

“This is a step that can bring chaos to the country’s harmony. It is meant to create a continuous clash,” Abdullah Zaik Abd Rahman, president of Islamist group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma), told Malay Mail Online in a text message.

“I believe there is an evil hand behind the move. They are deliberately trying to stir anger,” he added referring to Hooters, and urged the authorities to act swiftly on the matter.

Abdullah predicted that should Hooters formally attempt to open a Malaysian outlet, Muslims who protest the move would inevitably be labelled fanatics and extremists.

Echoing the sentiment, Pembela chairman Mohamed Hafiz Mohd Nordin said “crazy people” were behind Hooters’ expansion plan.

“This is the work of ‘crazy people’… Hooters will become ‘haunted’ if they try to plant roots in this Muslim country… Don’t ever dream about it!!” he told Malay Mail Online.

The Isma president did not explain what he meant by “haunted”, however, though he later said that he was merely being sarcastic.

Malay Mail Online reported yesterday plans by Hooters of America LLC to open up 30 outlets over the next six years in Southeast Asian locations like Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The move, according to the firm’s statement on Business Wire, is part of Hooters’ development agreement with international franchisee Destination Resorts Co Ltd.

Hooters’ first foray into Asia was in Singapore in December 1996.

Weighing in on the news, Datuk Nadzim Johan of Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM) labelled the plan “illogical” due to the sexual nature of Hooters’ dining concept.