Amid guidelines storm, Kedah says Chinese New Year event can go on
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 — Kedah said today that a 1 Malaysia Chinese New Year event would be allowed to go on following controversy over its recent guidelines for such celebrations.
Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak said the organisers will be allowed to carry out the event scheduled for February 15 at the Star Walk Alor Setar.
In a media statement issued today, Azizan said that all performers, regardless of gender and age, will have to be decently attired.
Kedah exco member Dr Hamdan Mohamed Khalib today also admitted the state government’s “oversight” over its guidelines for Chinese New Year celebrations.
He was asked to comment on the controversy stirred up by the PAS-led state administration over its January 9 guidelines to the organisers of the 1 Malaysia Chinese New Year Celebration 2013.
The guidelines included, among other things, the appropriate attire for officials and singers. It also stated that performers are encouraged to sing motivational songs and that if extreme singing and dancing activities were to take place, the state government has the right to shut down the programme.
The guidelines also banned adult females from appearing onstage for Chinese New Year performances.
Hamdan said fresh guidelines without the previously stated conditions would be issued.
“For this latest issue, an ‘oversight’ has happened over the notice of guidelines involving cultural events...” he said in an eight-paragraph statement that was made available to The Malaysian Insider today.
He said these guidelines could be revised to fit any situation that arises, adding that Pakatan Rakyat was not afraid to admit its mistakes.
“However, these are only guidelines, can be revised according to the situation, most importantly, the Pakatan Rakyat government is not arrogant and is not afraid of admitting mistakes that happen. We are ‘truly democratic’ and are willing to be with the people for all good.”
Earlier in his statement, Hamdan had said that the PR state government “will always listen to and receive” society’s views.
He explained that the initial guidelines were meant to control the organising of extreme public entertainment that will create social problems especially among the youths which, he said, were predominantly Malay-Muslim.
He also said that the guidelines will be relaxed for religious and cultural celebrations by the state’s Chinese, Indian and Siamese communities.
He said that the state government approves the carrying out of these programmes in line with the code of attire of each race’s culture.