In Malaysia, female Muslims were denied participation in beauty pageants following the issue of a fatwa in 1995 by the Mufti of Selangor. The issue came to a nasty twist in July-September 1997 when three Malay participants joined the Miss Malaysian petite contest, only to be arrested by the authorities. In the ensuing public outcry and debate that followed, the effectiveness of the fatwa was shown given the influence of the Selangor’s Mufti over the nation’s sharia law.The fatwa resonated with the ideology that Muslim women should cover up private parts of their body, or Aurat of which the beauty pageants’ practices ran contrary to–even though such religious enactments are not restricted to male pageants.
Nevertheless, a public outcry ensued, as members of the public questioned the way the religious authorities handled the matter as well as the abrupt ruling which came about–Muslim women in the past had participated in beauty pageants without much protest amongst the religious authorities.This invoked the concerns of Mahathir‘s who had raised objections to the way the religious authorities had implemented and enforced the law–and questions including distinctions on religious laws and personal freedom were raised. Nevertheless, the fatwa ruling has since been very effective; Muslim women have since then been deterred from joining any beauty pageants for fear of arrest by the religious authorities by the fatwa enactment. Malaysian beauty pageants, in compliance with the law, similarly denied Muslim individuals from participating.
That’s why there is no Malay Miss Malaysia winners for last 12 years and future!
To be more correct, there won’t be even a Malay contestants in Pageant.
The top 3 winners for Miss Malaysia Petite 1997: Winner – Amy Lui (Centre) being flanked by 1st Runner-up Fahyu (left) and 2nd Runner-up Noni (Right), both Muslim which later been led away by religion officers from JAIS.