Bollywood legend Shah Rukh Khan has postponed a controversial ceremony to award him a Malaysian "knighthood" because he is too busy, officials said Wednesday.
Khan is to be presented with an award from southern Malacca state which carries the title "Datuk", equivalent to a British knighthood, after a 2001 film set in Malacca boosted its profile as a tourist destination.
The award has proved contentious, with some questioning whether Khan is deserving or whether local artists and celebrities should be recognised instead.
"The ceremony has been postponed for now," a senior Malacca official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
"We wanted the ceremony to take place over a weekend but Shah Rukh's schedule was such that we could not agree on a date so we are now working on a new one that will keep everyone happy, but it hasn't been fixed yet," he said.
Since the filming of Khan's 2001 movie, "One 2 Ka 4" at a popular resort in Malacca, the number of tourists coming from India has increased significantly, state officials say.
The 42-year-old heart-throb was to have received his award on November 29, in a ceremony aired live on India's top entertainment channel, Zee TV.
"The postponement of the award shows just how ridiculous it is to give such an award to Shah Rukh as Malaysia and the award most probably does not even picture on his radar," opposition politician Lim Kit Siang told AFP.
Malaysia has become a popular location for Indian films, which have a huge following among ethnic Indians and the majority Muslim-Malays.