The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry will not hesitate to take action against the organiser of the 2019 Tattoo Malaysia Expo following allegations of people "parading" semi-naked. NSTP/Pic courtesy of reader

PUTRAJAYA: The Tourism, Arts and Culture Ministry will not hesitate to take action against the organiser of the 2019 Tattoo Malaysia Expo following allegations of people "parading" semi-naked.

Its minister Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi said he had instructed the ministry's agency, the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau (MyCeB) to investigate the matter.

"This kind of expo is not new and was held in Malaysia before including in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah in 2015 and no such incident was reported.

"I was informed that it was a closed-door event, but it violated the rules and I have asked MyCEB to look into it," he said in a statement today.

"No doubt the international event would be good for the country's tourism sector, but it should not be done in such a manner," he added.

"It does not reflect the actual image of Malaysia, which is filled with decency and integrity."

The minister also made it clear that the ministry had not issued any approval for attendees to parade semi-naked.

"It is impossible for the ministry to approve any application involving such obscene elements, which is against Malaysia's culture, with a majority of its population comprising of Muslims.

"We will wait for the full investigation report from MyCeB and we will not hesitate to take legal action if they are found to have violated the conditions set," he said.

The 2019 Tatto Malaysia Expo was held between Nov 29 and Dec 1 with the participation of 35 countries.

The expo was previously held in Sabah in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

MyCEB, in a statement, said any approval for an event must be obtained from the state and local authorities.

On Sunday, pictures of semi-nude men and women covered in tattoos allegedly at the said expo went viral on social media.