Shisha, karaoke banned in Malaysian state of Kelantan


KUALA LUMPUR: The Kelantan state government has banned shisha and karaoke establishments, as part of efforts to curb social problems among youths.

The Harakah daily – published by Islamist party Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS), which governs Kelatan – reported on Monday (Jan 14) that the ban was an attempt to tackle social ills among teenagers.

“They hang out in droves to have fun while smoking shisha till two in the morning at these premises,” Local Authority, Housing and Health Exco Izani Husin was quoted as saying by Harakah.

“When they go home late, they will be exposed to unhealthy activities,” he said after the swearing-in ceremony for Kota Bharu City Council members.

Establishments caught flouting the ban may be issued a compound fine, or risk having their operating licenses suspended.

Kelantan, a conservative state, has been ruled by PAS since 1990.

That year, the state government banned snooker, billiards and karaoke on grounds that they promoted vice and gambling.

In late 2005, however, the establishments were allowed to resume operations, under strict conditions.

For instance, karaoke operating licenses were only issued for establishments catering to families. No private rooms were allowed on the premises.

There are currently no cinemas operating in the state, believed to be due to strict guidelines imposed by the authorities, including gender-segregated seating and bright lighting during shows.

PAS has also been pushing to table a controversial bill in the federal parliament to enhance the powers of the Syariah or Islamic courts.

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