Ban on karaoke, cyber cafés during Muslim holy month

2010-07-23 12:01

A Malaysian state has ordered all entertainment centres including karaoke lounges and cyber cafes to close during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Kangar Municipal Council, which administers the capital of Perlis state, issued the order because these premises are “often linked to unsavoury activities,” the daily Berita Harian newspaper reported.

Municipal head Rosli Mat was quoted as saying: “Stern action will be taken against those who flout the ruling.”

Offenders risk being fined or their premises being sealed.

Ramadan, during which Muslims refrain from drinking, eating and sex from sunrise to sunset, starts on August 11 on the Western calendar.

The northern state of Perlis is reported to be the first in the country to issue such a ban.

Recently, eyebrows were raised when a couple of influential clerics denounced those who wore the jerseys of the famous English football team, Manchester United, because of the team’s emblem, which features a red devil.

The same religious leaders also wanted a ban on the jerseys of the Brazilian and Portuguese national teams because they feature the crucifix in their emblems.

Over 60% of Malaysia’s 28 million people are Muslims but the country has always touted itself as a moderate Muslim country. That image has been dented by what many see as a creeping fundamentalism in society.

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