KOTA Bharu Municipal Council (MPKB) should look into revising certain local council by-laws to prevent instances of non-Muslims from running afoul of the by-laws, said Local Government Development Minister Nga Kor Ming.
According to Nga, he had asked the director-general of the local government department, Datuk Noor Ihsan, to meet with Kota Bharu mayor Rosnazli Amin in order to decide if any of the council’s by-laws may be amended.
The DAP vice chairman said this was done to prevent instances such as the one that occurred at the hair salon from happening again.
The Teluk Intan MP was referring to an incident on July 9, where the council fined a hair salon owner in Kota Bharu RM100 for allowing a female worker to cut the hair of a Muslim male customer.
“Malaysia is a multiracial country and mutual respect is important to preserve harmony. Local council by-laws that go against the spirit of the Federal Constitution should be avoided,” he was reported as saying by FMT.
“Last month, a shop owner was fined for wearing shorts in her own shop. It is a private premise and the shop sells shorts, yet she isn’t allowed to wear them.
“What is she supposed to do? How does she do business or earn a living? The PAS-led Kelantan government must be more understanding.”
Kelantan Chinese Association Federation president Datuk Oie Poh Choon confirmed that the salon owner paid her fine to the MPKB and that the woman was found to have violated the council’s by-laws, which had been in place for more than a decade.
“I have accompanied the woman to MPKB’s office to settle her fine and she also admitted to committing the offence. She acknowledged her mistake and claimed that she forgot the regulation,” he was quoted as saying by New Straits Times.
Oie said the MPKB by-law under the business licence guidelines states that non-Muslim female hairdressers are not allowed to offer haircut services to any Muslim of the opposite sex.
He further expressed hopes that the MPKB would brief salon owners on its existing laws, as many appeared to have forgotten the laws.
“During my recent gathering with the association’s members, we have stressed to them not to breach MPKB’s or any laws as we do not want certain quarters to take advantage of the situation,” he added.
“Before we go any further, it’s important to know that this is not a new regulation in the town. This law has been enforced by MPKB-BRI in the business licence guidelines. To be safe, we just have to follow the rules to avoid unwanted consequences.”
This follows a similar incident on June 25, where a 35-year-old non-Muslim Kelantanese woman was issued a compound notice by MPKB for wearing what was described as “indecent clothing”.
MPKB mayor Rosnazli Amin said the woman was found to have committed an offence under Section 34(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). – July 18, 2023
Main pic credit: Kosmo Digital