Marinatasha Isnariah Mustapar.
KUALA LUMPUR: A female singer claimed to have been asked to leave the stage at a dinner function organised by a construction company at a convention centre here on Jan 18 because she was wearing a headscarf.
Marinatasha Isnariah Mustapar, 32, claimed she was invited on stage by the performing band when a director of Castmet Sdn Bhd requested her to step down.
"The next singer named Farina invited me to come on stage and sing with her.
“Out of respect for her, I went up to join her. But I was told off again by the director.
"He said to me, you are wearing a headscarf which is not appropriate for this function," she told a media conference organised by the Malaysian Artistes Association (Karyawan) on Tuesday.
Karyawan president Datuk Freddie Fernandez who was also present at the press conference confirmed receiving a complaint from Marinatasha.
"Discrimination against female artistes who wear headscarf should not happen in this country. Hopefully the party concerned would come forward to clarify and resolve this issue amicably with us (Karyawan)," he said.
Meanwhile, Castmet's managing director Tan Keh Wah when contacted by Bernama, said the company had never discriminated against any race or religion as claimed.
"Our company is not racist as claimed. On the other hand, the incident that night was not because the singer was wearing a headscarf but because she was not a singer engaged by the organiser," he said.
Tan explained that there was an agreement between his company and another company, which had engaged the band, not to engage singers who wore headscarf as alcoholic drinks were served at the function.
"Among the terms in the agreement was that the singers must interact and dance with the guests who are mostly non Muslim men. And it was to preserve the image and sensitivity of Muslims that the company was firm about not involving singers who wear headscarf," he said. - Bernama