Friday, December 15, 2006

Kelantan to allow Discos for Tourists

KOTA BARU: The PAS-led state government, in an about-turn, will consider allowing some types of entertainment outlets to be opened in a proposed tourism zone along Pantai Cahaya Bulan.

State Local Government Committee chairman Takiyuddin Hassan, responding to proposals from some quarters in the travel trade here, said “such outlets can be considered if there are investors.”

The move is bound to draw attention as Kelantan had previously banned outlets such as nightclubs, karaoke outlets and pubs.

Takiyuddin said the site in Kuala Besar had been identified as a prime tourism belt for Kelantan after a developer agreed to develop a marina and chalets.

The state will also convince the Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry to allow the relocation of a new cultural centre to Kuala Besar from its present proposed site opposite the Tengku Anis recreational park here.

With the move, the state will have a one-stop centre to showcase its rich cultural performances and traditional games daily, besides acting as a platform to train young culture proponents.
“In this context, I think the state can consider applications to open up entertainment outlets in the zone. Places with live entertainment can be open if there are investors, but can only be for non-Muslim tourists, notably foreigners,” Takiyuddin said.

Takiyuddin agreed that it could be modelled after tourism zones set up in Arab countries to cater for tourists.

He said this after attending the annual dinner of the Kelantan chapter of the Malaysian Association of Hoteliers at the Renaissance Hotel.

On another matter, Takiyuddin called for academicians to study whether performing arts such as mak yong and menora were deemed unsuitable in the Islamic context.
This would put to rest allegations and counter-claims from religious and cultural groups over whether it was suitable for such cultural shows to be held for the masses here, Takiyuddin said.
Currently, wayang kulit, mak yong and menora are held solely for tourists at the state’s cultural centre here.

Takiyuddin urged any local university with strong expertise in Malay culture to undertake a study on whether such shows can be allowed.

Only through proper research can there be a conclusion on whether it was religiously viable to hold such shows in the open, he added.

Source : STAR
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