The Star faces sterner action over Erykah Badu slip-up
PETALING JAYA, March 7 — The Home Ministry is not satisfied with the explanation offered by The Star over the publication of a picture of American R&B singer Erykah Badu with tattoos of the word “Allah” in Arabic on her body, it said in a statement today.
It is understood that The Star has been asked to submit to the ministry its recommendations for sterner action.
The Star reported that the statement read, “The Ministry wishes to advise The Star and all media organisations to take preventive, corrective and informative action to prevent the publication of content that may touch on the country’s multi-racial and multi-religious sensitivities.”
The leading English newspaper suspended two senior editors indefinitely — Star2 senior editor Lim Cheng Hoe and deputy editor for features Daryl Goh — for approving Badu’s picture.
They also appointed two Muslim associate editors to “assist and guide” the newspaper on issues of Muslim sensitivities.
Badu, who was scheduled to perform a concert here on February 29, had to cancel her show after the picture appeared in the Star2 entertainment section.
The cancellation was mooted by Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim, who said the act of showing the “Allah” symbol and “Nabi Muhammad SAW” for entertainment purposes is unacceptable by the Muslim community.
Badu, in a press conference held on the same day as her scheduled concert, said she respected the Malaysian government’s decision but expressed disappointment that her show had been cancelled over The Star’s picture of her.