A MINISTER has urged PAS leaders to learn from Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia, which he described as having developed its tourism sector without denying the rights of those of other religions.
Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said if the recent case involving a non-Muslim Kelantanese woman who was compounded for allegedly dressing “indecently” at her boutique is repeated, it will cause great concern and have great impact on local residents and tourists, affecting the state’s tourism sector.
“Following an incident involving a female trader who was charged by the Islamic City of Kota Bharu Municipal Council (MPKB-BRI) for allegedly dressing indecently, I would like to remind all parties, regardless of party, religion, or race, that Malaysia is a multicultural society,” Tiong said in a statement on his Facebook page today (June 29).
“It’s a different story if the woman isn’t dressed, and she was on her own business premises at the time, not in public areas like government buildings that require the public to comply with the dress code.”
Citing Articles 3(1) and 8 of the Federal Constitution, Tiong noted that non-Muslims are free to practise their respective religions and are protected from discrimination on the grounds of race or religion.
“This reflects that Malaysia is a multi-religious and multi-racial country that is peaceful. As a non-Muslim, I have never denied or questioned any religion or race in this country,” asserted the Dudong assemblyman.
“As Malaysians who love this country, we must have mutual respect and celebrate our diversity, while upholding the Federal Constitution.”
On Sunday (June 25), a 35-year-old non-Muslim Kelantanese woman was issued a compound notice by MPKB-BRI for wearing what was described as “indecent clothing”.
MPKB-BRI president Rosnazli Amin said the woman was found to have committed an offence under Section 23(2) (b) Business and Industrial Trade By-Laws 2019 which states that non-Muslim business owners and their non-Muslim employees must wear “decent clothes” or, if they are Muslim, cover their aurat (modesty)
MPKB-BRI’s action drew the ire of Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming, who demanded the council to retract the compound notice.
On the other hand, Lan Chin Chua, a special officer for the Kelantan menteri besar, alleged that the woman had been deceiving the public by changing her shorts after receiving the notice.
According to Lan, the woman in question had in fact changed into a different pair of shorts before posting a picture of her holding up the compound on social media. – June 29, 2023