Malaysian state 'allows' women actors
- Published: 16/01/2013 at 02:59 PM
- Online news:
The Islamist government of Alor Star state in Malaysia has reversed a contentious law passed last week and announced adult women can appear in stage shows after all - within limits.
The state government, led by the Muslim Pas party, banned women from appearing in any live stage productions within the state, which borders on Thailand's southwest corner.
But according to a report in the New Straits Times on Wednesday, the state arts and culture committee will instead closely monitor all shows to ensure women "are dressed appropriately or decently".
The state government also withdrew a controversial ruling that all songs at live shows must have a religious theme and positive advice.
Azizan Abdul Razak, the chief minister of the state, was defensive about the measures when he talked with local reporters, the newspaper said.
"The dispute has been settled," he said. "The event organiser can engage male and female performers. However, all performers must dress appropriately."
Most of Malaysia is governed in a secular manner, but three states have Islamist Pas governments and have enacted special religious laws.
Mr Azizan stressed that the Islamic-type regulations would apply to all performers.
"There have been cases in the past where performers wore revealing outfits and had exposed their armpits and bellies.
"Just because you're not a Muslim, it does not mean that you can dress any way you like. This is not our culture."
Teo Nie Ching, public secretary of the opposition DAP party, described the guidelines as ridiculous, unacceptable and an unwise move.