The Straits Times
Published on Jan 17, 2013

K-pop's reach extends to Muslim Malaysia


SEPANG (AFP) - Ms Maznifa Mustaffa doesn't understand Korean, and would be unable to get away with dressing like her favourite Korean pop stars due to conservative attitudes in Muslim-majority Malaysia.

But that didn't stop her joining thousands of fans who bought tickets to a K-pop extravaganza costing half a month's average salary in Malaysia, underlining the phenomenal cross-cultural appeal of Korean entertainment.

"I'm very excited. I've waited a long time for this," said Ms Maznifa, a 29-year-old administrative assistant who wore a white hijab, the headscarf worn by many Muslim women in Malaysia that covers all but the face.

Ms Maznifa spoke as she queued in sweltering conditions Wednesday with crowds of other delirious fans for tickets costing 1,000 ringgit (S$404) - she dipped into her savings - to a two-night K-pop concert and awards show.