Malaysia

Central PAS intervenes in Kelantan hairstyling row

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 27 — PAS moved today to soothe the ruffled bouffants of the non-Muslim community over Kelantan’s latest move to ban unisex hair salons and prevent women hairdressers from cutting men’s hair and vice-versa.

The Islamist party’s president said it viewed seriously the objections from non-Muslims to the PAS-led state’s enforcement last week and will work to resolve the issue swiftly.

“Central PAS has been informed by the state government that they are ready to consider the suggestions of all non-Muslims to discuss and find the best solution to resolve this issue according to the concept of the belief in freedom for non-Muslims,” Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang (picture) said in a statement today that was read on his behalf in Parliament by party vice-president, Salahuddin Ayub.

“PAS believes the Kelantan state government did not mean to expand the implementation of any allocation related to Islamic moral laws on the non-Muslims,” the statement said.

Kelantan has drawn widespread criticism after several non-Muslim hairdressers in Kota Baru highlighted last week that they were fined by the local council after being nabbed for styling the hair of male customers — reigniting fears that hudud, the strict Islamic penal law, will be enforced on all citizens, and not just Muslims, should PAS succeed in taking federal power.

The state was reported by English-language daily The Star as defending the enforcement, saying it was in line with the state government’s Islamic policies and that it would safeguard women from sexual harassment in the workplace.

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