The Straits Times
Published on Nov 09, 2012

Petronas yanks Diwali video over funeral dance blunder


KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Malaysian state energy firm Petronas has pulled a YouTube music video it posted to mark the Hindu festival of Diwali after angry viewers pointed out that it depicted an inappropriate funeral dance.

Race and religion are sensitive issues in Malaysia which experienced deadly racial riots in 1969, and critics complained that the video failed to depict the true meaning of the festival of lights, which commemorates the triumph of good over evil.

The three-minute video advertisement on its YouTube page featured at least 14 dancers in colourful clothing doing the "Dappan Koothu", an energetic dance routine popular in South Indian Tamil movies.

Critics complained that the peppy music-cum-dance video was irrelevant to Diwali celebrations because it depicted a dance sometimes performed before a funeral procession.