MCA: Dress code law in Kelantan will kill sports development

Lua-Choon-Hann-futsal-sport-kelantanPETALING JAYA: A Kelantan MCA leader has criticised the state religious authority over the fine imposed on a 30-year-old Muslim man for wearing shorts in public.

Kelantan MCA state liaison committee secretary Lua Choon Hann said the only outcome from this incident will be that youths will be discouraged from participating in sports and prevent the development of sports in Kelantan.

It was reported yesterday that the man who was on his way to a futsal game on Monday night, and had stopped by the road to buy a burger for his wife, was caught for “violating the state’s Syariah Criminal Enactment”, by a Kelantan Islamic religious department (JAIK) officer who slapped him with a fine.

A JAIK official had reportedly said that action was taken against the man because the state authorities wanted Muslims to dress decently in public areas, in line with Islamic religious teachings.

He said the imposition of the dress code was only for Muslims and no action would be taken against non-Muslims, male or female, who dressed in such a manner.

He was also quoted as saying that the Muslim man, Wan Khairul Hayyee Wali, would not have to pay the fine if he attended the counselling session as directed.

“As a Kelantan native, I am saddened that JAIK’s enforcement will kill, or annihilate any effort by the the federal government to promote sports in our East Coast state, much less host any regional or international sports tournament,” Lua said in a statement today.

“As the Malaysia Basketball Association (Maba) president, I now have to think twice as to whether to host any basketball matches in my native state, be it in an indoor court or outdoor stadium as I shudder at the thought of JAIK personnel raiding the games, waving summons to be slapped against our cagers or spectators in short pants for indecent dressing.”

Lua, who is also a MCA central committee member, questioned PAS if it wanted to follow the path taken by the Taliban when ruling Afghanistan.

“In the state government’s drive to ensure that decent attire and that one’s anatomy must not be exposed, PAS reflects its archaic mindset, still living in the pre-electricity era where there was no such thing as TVs, cinemas, or the internet.

“They might want to follow the Taliban method of smashing all TV sets to ensure no broadcasts of sports news or tournaments, or any programme showing people in short pants to ensure absolutely no exposure to short pants at all,” he said.