Government must stand firm and not give in to Jakim's proposed entertainment guidelines

Media Statement
by Teresa Kok

(Petaling Jaya,Tuesday): DAP wants the Cabinet to not only just put on hold the plan by the Islamic Development Council (Jakim) to formulate guidelines for live concerts and other musical performances but to reject it outright.

There is huge concern in the entertainment industry and among Malaysians over Jakim's proposed guidelines, which include a list of dos and don'ts such as segregating male and female audiences during live performances and banning broadcast of concerts and entertainment during Muslim prayer times.

Such restrictions are improper as it represents another attempt to police society's morals and are tantamount to undermining the fundamental liberties of Malaysians of all races and religious persuasions.

The government must stand firm and make it clear there is separation between religion and governance, and a non-democratically elected entity like Jakim cannot force its narrow views on a pluralistic society.

Islamic-based organisations like Jakim have to wake up to the political reality of the day and be mindful of the insensitivity of such proposals. As such,  I again urge such organisations to come forth and participate in a religious roundtable to discuss issues that will benefit every community.


*  Teresa Kok, MP for Seputeh and DAP National Publicity Secretary