MB: Indian and Chinese dances allowed

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 07 Aug 2003

KUALA TERENGGANU: The Terengganu government, criticised for a move to ban all forms of social dancing, said it will still allow the Chinese and Indian communities to perform their lion and cultural dances. 

Defending the ban, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said it was to stop the spread of negative culture. 

“All races, including the Chinese and Indian communities, are against negative cultures as their traditions project good morals. 

“However, we still allow lion dances and Indian cultural dances. 

“We are aware that Western culture does not originate from either the Chinese or Indians,” he said after chairing the state executive council meeting yesterday. 

Abdul Hadi, who is the acting PAS president, said he had yet to receive any complaints from the Chinese or Chinese-based non-governmental organisations on the matter. 

He added that they are free to see him directly regarding their problems.  

The media had carried reports criticising the move after the Kuala Terengganu Municipal Council ruled that cultural dances involving men and women at the state-owned Primula Beach Resort were allowed only if they followed the council’s guidelines. 

Responding to the decision, the MCA said it planned to lodge a formal complaint to the Terengganu government over the matter. 

State MCA chairman Datuk Lau Yin Pin said they had not complained earlier because the ban was a recent enactment. 

“We will study the matter carefully and then file a complaint,” he said.  

MCA central committee member and Deputy Culture, Arts and Tourism Minister Datuk Fu Ah Kiow said the ban would put Malaysia in a bad light and drive away potential tourists and investors. 

“Some foreigners who don’t know where Terengganu is may relate the ban on dancing to the whole of Malaysia. They may think that the ban applies to all hotels in the country. 

“When that happens all our efforts to make Malaysia a major tourist destination will go down the drain,” said Fu, who is on a working trip to China. 

In another development, the Information Ministry said allegations by PAS that television dramas had caused family break-ups were “too simplistic” to be given any consideration. 

“They have to substantiate their claim with facts and figures. This is a serious matter but PAS’ arguments are too simple and naive,” said Deputy Information Minister Datuk Zainuddin Maidin. 

He was commenting on reported remarks by Abdul Hadi that television dramas did not create a conducive environment in the family and led to marriage break-ups.  

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