Authorities have confirmed that a tattoo convention organizer will be investigated after reports emerged that semi-nude models were present showing off the artwork.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Mohamaddin Ketapi has said that an investigation in Tattoo Malaysia Expo 2019 will be carried out via the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCeB), an agency under the Tourism Ministry’s purview.
According to the minister, it was not the first time the event was held — it’s been an annual event since 2015 — but this year’s outing in Kuala Lumpur over the weekend raised red flags, he said.
“Organizing an international event is good for the national tourism industry but not this way, it does not reflect the real Malaysia which is full of manners and morals,” he said in a statement today.
Over the weekend, a photograph purporting to show a topless model at the event went viral on social media, prompting chin wagging from the digital peanut gallery. (To be fair, there were some pasties involved.)
But any nudity that may have taken place was not previously approved, Mohamaddin added.
“It is impossible that the ministry would approve an application which has obscene elements because that is not Malaysian culture.
“We will wait for a full report from MyCeB and we will not hesitate to take legal action if they are found to have violated the conditions which were set,” he said.
Prior to 2015, the event was regularly held in the Borneo state of Sabah without issue.