KEDAH Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor has denied that there was a ban on non-Muslim tourists who wear short pants to Langkawi.
“I am also surprised how the issue could arise when the suspension did not happen,” he told a media conference after the state’s EXCO meeting at Wisma Darul Aman in Alor Setar yesterday (Sept 27).
“Many tourists come to Langkawi wearing shorts. It’s fine so long as their religion allows them to do so.”
The only exemption, according to the Kedah PAS deputy commissioner, is that tourists are barred from wearing flashy clothes “or none at all as this runs afoul of our culture (eastern society)”.
Sanusi’s comment came following the claim by Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Tiong King Sing that several non-Muslim tourists had approached his ministry with complaints of harassment in Langkawi, particularly pertaining their choice of attire and alcohol consumption.
Nevertheless, the Bintulu MP has softened his blow by clarifying that his recent remarks concerning restrictions encountered by non-Muslim visitors to Langkawi was not intended to single out Kedah but to highlight the issues affecting the tourism sector nationwide.
“It’s okay, I invite him (Tiong) to come to Langkawi wearing shorts. As he is not a Muslim, nobody forbids him from wearing shorts,” stressed the Jeneri state assemblyman.
Regarding the consumption of alcohol (hard liquor), Sanusi explained that licensed venues have been made available for non-Muslim tourists to consume beer and liquor.
On that note, the Perikatan Nasional (PN) election director expressed certainty that foreign tourists who come to Langkawi “do not intend to consume alcohol but rather enjoy the beauty of nature and culture on the tourist island”.
“They can drink in their country. You mai (come to) Langkawi not to drink alcohol but to enjoy the environment, geopark, culture and other attractions in Langkawi,” justified Sanusi. “So, the tourism minister should not stir up issues that have no benefit but instead harm and affect tourism. Mai see for yourself, don’t just listen to what others say.”
In a related development, Sanusi also highlighted that Kedah does not only pay attention to tourism in Langkawi but also focuses on the mainland where there are many interesting places that can be visited. – Sept 28, 2023