Malaysian TV station cuts ads that offended non-Muslims

A television station has dropped a series of commercials to mark the Muslim month of Ramadan after viewers complained that the ads insulted Malaysia's non-Muslim ethnic minorities.

The three commercials began airing to remind viewers of Ramadan, which began on Monday. Ethnic Malay Muslims, who form nearly two-thirds of Malaysia's 28 million people, do not eat or drink from dawn until sundown during Ramadan.

A 30-second clip depicted an ethnic Chinese woman eating while Muslims watched her, another showed her wearing a sleeveless blouse and in the last one, she was shouting at a stall owner. The scenes were followed by messages urging viewers to show respect for Ramadan by not eating in public, not wearing revealing clothing or being loud.

Viewers, including Muslims, were angered by the ads on the private station 8TV, which they said stereotyped minority Chinese and imposed Islamic practices on non-Muslims.