MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Thursday, June 29, 2023

A repeat of ‘indecent clothing’ fiasco will affect tourism, warns minister


Tourism, arts and culture minister Tiong King Sing said the woman should not have been issued a compound notice. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: A repeat of the recent incident where a non-Muslim woman was fined for wearing “indecent clothing” in Kelantan will negatively impact tourism in the state, warns tourism, arts and culture minister Tiong King Sing.

Tiong advised leaders of PAS, which governs Kelantan, to take a leaf from other Muslim nations like Saudi Arabia, which he described as having developed its tourism sector without denying the rights of those of other religions.

“If such an incident occurs again, it will cause concern and leave a massive impact on locals and tourists, thus affecting Kelantan’s tourism sector,” he said in a Facebook post.

Tiong, who is also the Bintulu MP, said the woman should not have been issued a compound notice since she was a non-Muslim and was in her own business premises, and not a location like a government building.

Citing Articles 3(1) and 8 of the Federal Constitution, he said non-Muslims are free to practise their respective religions and are protected from discrimination on the grounds of race or religion.

“As a non-Muslim, I have never denied or questioned any religion or race in this country. As Malaysians who love this country, we must have mutual respect and celebrate our diversity, while upholding the Federal Constitution,” he said.

On Monday, the Kota Bharu Municipal Council (MPKB) issued a compound notice to the 35-year-old business owner during a spot check by its enforcement officers at her shop.

MPKB president Rosnazli Amin reportedly said the woman committed an offence under Section 34(2)(b) of the Business and Industrial Trade By-Laws 2019, which states that non-Muslim business owners and their non-Muslim employees must wear “decent clothes”.

According to the compound notice, which has gone viral on social media, the woman has seven days to settle the fine or face legal action.

MPKB drew criticism from various quarters over the matter, including local government development minister Nga Kor Ming, who urged the council to retract the compound notice.

However, Lau Chin Chua, a special officer to the Kelantan menteri besar, claimed the woman was trying to deceive the public by changing her shorts after being served the notice.

He told FMT on Tuesday the woman changed into a different pair of shorts before posting a picture of her holding up the compound on social media. The post later went viral. - FMT

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