KOTA BARU: Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat wants wayang kulit (shadow play) exponents to change their approach by telling the stories of bygone Malay warriors and religious figures in their performances, instead of the usual staple of folklore which he says do not benefit society and the nation.
He said the old plays featuring mythical characters like Hanuman Kera Putih and Raja Serama in wayang kulit performances were of “no benefit to the people as the stories were ludicrous.”
“That is why the state government has banned wayang kulit in the old form and proposed a new form which should tell the stories of Malay warriors like Tok Kenali, Tok Janggut and Mat Kilau, and of the country’s renowned religious figures,” he said here Monday.
“The portrayal of these figures is not only acceptable, but can increase the audience’s knowledge of history compared to that of fabled characters.”
Nik Aziz said the ban on the existing form of wayang kulit was also in line with the new enactment on entertainment enforced in the state.
He said the state government could relax some of the conditions imposed on entertainment shows and traditional cultural performances if they were modified in accordance with the new entertainment enactment and Islamic rules.
However, he added that Makyong and Menora performances were definitely banned as the stories involving the mingling of male and female characters could not be altered.
The PAS spiritual leader said the measures taken by the state government showed that it did not ban entertainment shows altogether but only controlled them as Islam itself did not regard entertainment as haram (forbidden).
“So, the claim by certain quarters that the Kelantan PAS government had banned all forms of entertainment since it took over the state in 1990 is not true,” he said. -- Bernama
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