Thu Sep 19th, 2002

Kelantan bans women entertainers, rock groups

Kelantan has banned female entertainers from performing live in front of men in a move to “cultivate modesty and high morals,” a state spokesperson said today.
All rock groups and pop bands will also be barred with immediate effect in the PAS-controlled northeastern state, said the spokesperson for Kelantan Menteri Besar Nik Aziz Nik Mat.
"The ban centres on a ruling stipulating that entertainment in whatever conditions involving anyone must bring about an environment that is modest and moralistic," Anual Bakri Haron told AFP.
“So if the performance has any elements that are contradictory to that of Islam, it cannot be allowed."
He said the ruling for women performers only applied to those above the age of 12 and that children of all genders were still allowed to hold live performances for the public.
"This is to protect the modesty of the entertainers and the general public," said Anual.
He said a group of 30 local artistes from Kuala Lumpur were planning to schedule a meeting with Nik Aziz, who is also PAS spiritual leader, to "discuss their worries that we are not being fair".
"There is no use for a meeting. We have decided and will go on with the ban, because we have the support of the people here."
However, religious bands would not be affected by the ban, which covers all hotels and resorts in the state, said PAS legal adviser, Ahmad Takiyuddin Hassan.
"We do not care what others are going to say about this. We have an obligation to the people of Kelantan and there will be no two ways about it," he was quoted by the Star daily as saying.
Kelantan is the second state to announce this ruling, after Terengganu, which is also ruled by PAS, enforced a similar ban last year.
Since capturing Terengganu in 1999 elections, the PAS government has also shut down karaoke centres, pubs, unisex salons and gaming outlets, and announced in May that it would stop using "women and sex as well as other hedonistic influences" in tourism campaigns in the state. — AFP