Monday, July 18, 2011

Kedah entertainment ban limited to Muslims, says Hadi

July 17, 2011
The Malaysian Insider

PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang today blamed the mainstream media for exploiting the issue. — file pic
AMPANG, July 17 — Kedah has revoked the outright ban on entertainment outlets during Ramadan and will instead bar only Muslims from patronising such establishments, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said today.

Hadi blamed the mainstream media’s inaccurate reports for causing confusion and sparking discontent among non-Muslims.

“The BN media is exploiting this issue. So only non-Muslims can enter (the entertainment outlets), but Muslims will not be allowed to enter,” Hadi told reporters here today.

He said the Kedah state government under Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak was merely enforcing laws enacted by the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) administration.

Hadi said PR was now “fixing” such laws to protect the rights of non-Muslims.

According to him, Azizan’s political secretary, Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor, told the PAS national leadership at a meeting today that the state government will revoke the licenses of entertainment outlets visited by Muslims during Ramadan.

Sanusi had insisted yesterday that the ruling would remain, saying the state government was just enforcing a 1997 law.

DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang had urged Kedah to withdraw the ban on 13 types of entertainment outlets from operating in the state during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

MCA had accused the Islamist party of violating human rights with the ban, which covered businesses such as karaoke centres and discos, as well as live performances in easily accessible locations such as bars, hotels and restaurants.

Only cybercafés, bowling alleys and snooker centres were exempted from the ruling.

Hadi pointed out today that the laws under BN allowed the opening of entertainment outlets, and did not prohibit Muslims from patronising them.

The Marang MP stressed that PAS was not bowing to pressure from other parties.

Sanusi also said entertainment outlet operators had promised not to allow Muslims to enter their premises during Ramadan.

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