Malaysian Sultan Clashes With Islamic Party Over Entertainers
Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah told The Star daily that the protest over the two women -- rock singer Ella and Mas Idayu, who performs the hip-swivelling "dangdut" dance -- was "hypocritical" and "trivial".
He said future Selangor Cup matches between his state and Singapore could be cancelled if the Islamic party PAS was successful in its campaign to have them struck off the schedule.
"If this is going to be so difficult, we might as well hold this annual event in Singapore. I am sure they will be more than happy to play host," he told the daily.
The PAS youth wing in Selangor sent a memorandum to the state's chief minister objecting to the performers at the July 6 match, saying they were inappropriate as the event would be attended by many youngsters.
It threatened to demonstrate at the stadium if the women were allowed to perform, The Star said.
Malaysia's population is predominantly Muslim, and the nation's sultans are the traditional guardians of Islam in the states they rule.
But Sharafuddin said Selangor was not made up of "just PAS and Muslims" and that in any case the two performers were suitable for families.
"I don't know what the fuss is all about," he said.
PAS, which rules the northern state of Kelantan, has had ambitions of turning Malaysia into a theocratic state under Islamic rule.
However, in recent years it has begun introducing reforms designed to tone down its hardline reputation and woo young voters.
***** When will PAS learn that it is not to their advantage to consistently take one step forward followed by two steps back? Just when a few non-Muslims seem to place a little trust in their future with PAS, some petty nutcases in the Islamic party's youth wing decide to make asses of themselves by creating such a fuss over a trivial matter.
The senior leaders in PAS should ensure that the lower level partymen and women don't shoot themselves in the foot from time to time which will only lead to further estrangement between them and the mainstream. There is no doubt that almost every non-Muslim views PAS with suspicion and distrust and many consider them as unbending fanatics and potential terrorists. Incidents like the above merely reinforce that image.