Wednesday June 18, 2008
Sultan to PAS: Call off protest or I call off matches
BY WONG CHUN WAI
SHAH ALAM: An upset Sultan of Selangor has threatened to call off future Sultan of Selangor Cup matches between his state and Singapore if the protest by the state PAS Youth against two artistes performing for the event went ahead.
Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah described the protest over rock queen Ella and dangdut singer Mas Idayu as “hypocritical” and “trivial”.
He said there were more important issues that the party could focus on.
“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 Star yesterday.
On Monday, Selangor PAS Youth submitted a memoradum to the Selangor Mentri Besar’s office to protest against plans to have Ella and Mas Idayu perform at the match on July 6.
State PAS Youth chief Sallehen Mokhyi said the movement felt that performances by the singers were inappropriate as it would be attended by many youngsters.
The youth wing threatened to stage a demonstration at the Shah Alam Stadium if Ella and Mas Idayu were allowed to performed.
Sallehen’s call came on the heels of a statement by national PAS Youth vice-chief Azman Shapawi that the party wanted all the Pakatan Rakyat states to implement Syariah laws.
The Sultan said yesterday Ella and Mas Idayu were chosen because they were good entertainers and that the organisers felt that they would be able to entertain the people before the match began.
The other singer is David Arumugam of Alleycats.
“The organising committee even planned for the performance by the singers to end before the maghrib prayers. They are performers suitable for the family and I don’t know what the fuss is all about,” he said.
The Tuanku said Selangor did not comprise of “just PAS and Muslims,” adding that the state had many political parties and people of other races and faith.
He said Pakatan Rakyat was a multi-racial coalition and the sensitivities of other races must be taken into account.
“The idea of holding the performance is to create goodwill and bring the people together before the match. Sports and music bring people together,” he said.
He added this was the seventh edition of the Cup and was organised to enhance friendly ties with Singapore through football, adding that the history of Selangor and Singapore’s friendly rivalry went back to before the Second World War.
The Sultan also clarified that the state government and its subsidiary Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd were not the sponsors of the match.
He said no government funds were used for the organisation of the match and so the issue of public funds for the performance and football match did not arise as it was all done through sponsorship.
He said organising chairman Datuk Karim Munisar, who is Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd president, was appointed by him to run the event annually because of Karim’s love for football and volunteerism.
Ella disappointed with PAS Youth