M'sian party hit out at state govt over guidelines

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Petaling Jaya (The Star/ANN) - Democratic Action Party (DAP) assistant national publicity secretary Teo Nie Ching has demanded the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS)-led Kedah government abolish its guidelines barring female singers from performing in public during Chinese New Year.

She added that the ruling was disrespectful to non-Muslims and discriminated against women.

"It is ridiculous, unacceptable and unwise. These kind of moves distance the rakyat away from the administration and weaken Pakatan's [Pakatan Rakyat, the opposition political alliance] chance to score in the next general election," she said in a statement yesterday.

Teo reminded the Kedah government that it was part of Pakatan Rakyat, thus it needed to stick to the Opposition's manifesto.

In Alor Setar, Kedah DAP chairman Lee Guan Aik claimed the state party members were in the dark about the guidelines, which reportedly allowed only men and schoolgirls to give stage performances, among other restrictions.

"The guidelines, if it truly exist, fail to consider the rights of non-Muslims to have their own entertainment for the celebration. The DAP would object to the guidelines if it is found to be suppressing the needs of non-Muslims in the state," he said.

Lunas DAP branch chairman S. Neelamekan said the guidelines were a snub by PAS to the cultures and practices of non-Muslims.

He urged DAP leaders to protest the move, adding that the ruling was in danger of creating racial and religious intolerance.

State executive councillor Dr Hamdan Mohamed Khalib is scheduled to give a press statement on the issue today.

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