22 April 2015
NEW YORK — Attending a concert in Malaysia? Be prepared to sit separately from your friends of the opposite sex and refrain from excessive laughter.
The latest entertainment guidelines by the Department of Islamic Development for concert organisers include ensuring artists who plan to perform in the country have no criminal record and that they sport hairstyles and attire that won’t leave anyone confused about their gender. Singers can forget about raunchy dance moves and comedians about making jokes on serious topics.
Prime Minister Najib Razak’s party has brought in policies to shore up support with its Malay Muslim base since the ruling coalition’s worst-ever showing in the 2013 election. Rising Islamisation in Malaysia is creating friction between those calling for stricter adherence to the religion in the Muslim-majority nation and others who want greater tolerance in a country with a sizable Chinese and Indian minority.
“Race and religion traditionally are convenient tools” in politics, said Dr Oh Ei Sun, a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. “There is a vocal minority who are occupying positions of influence who are opportunistically inciting” divisive policies, he said.
IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 23/11/2015