Singer Faizal Tahir has been reprimanded by Malaysia’s Ministry of Information for baring his chest on a TV show.

The 29-year-old artist removed his T-shirt -- exposing a Superman-style red "S" painted on his chest -- while performing live on the "Rockin' Birthday Concert," celebrating Kuala Lumpur-based TV station 8TV's fourth anniversary on Jan. 13.

Effective Jan. 15, the Ministry of Information imposed a ban on Tahir from appearing live on TV for three months.

"I didn't realize the gimmick was offensive," Tahir tells Billboard.biz.

8TV CEO Ahmad Izham Omar said artists performing on the show had been reminded about "proper" onstage behavior.

"We adhere strictly to conduct guidelines and ensure they present a positive and healthy image," Izham says. "We are utterly shocked by Faizal's actions."

Meanwhile, in what is believed to be a first for the Malaysian music industry, 8TV has "sentenced" Tahir to perform community service such as raking leaves and litter in public parks for an unspecified period as a penalty for his "inappropriate action."

Tahir was a runner-up in 8TV's reality TV show "One In A Million" in 2006 and last year co-hosted regional talent-search contest TV show "Gangstarz" on TV3, another privately owned Malaysian TV station.

Signed to 8TV's Monkeybone Records label, he has two songs nominated for the 22nd Annual Songwriters Awards, sponsored by TV3, to be held on Jan. 27.

Tahir is still eligible for the awards, but will be barred from performing the songs at the gala.

The incident also caused the Malaysian government's Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to ban 8TV from airing live and recorded concerts and entertainment shows for three months from Jan. 15.

"The commission found that the artist's act was intentional without taking into account the sentiments and sensitivities of the viewers and public values," an MCMC spokesman said in a statement.

Muslim-majority Malaysia's dress-code guidelines for live performances stipulate that artists must be covered from their chest to their knees. Beyonce's scheduled Nov. 1, 2007 concert in Kuala Lumpur was canceled after the singer reportedly refused to abide by those guidelines.

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