Thursday January 17, 2013
Is cheongsam decent?
By EMBUN MAJID
ALOR SETAR: Does the cheongsam, the traditional Chinese dress for women, comply with guidelines issued by the Kedah Government on public stage performances for the Chinese New Year celebrations?
That is the question raised by Kedah Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang, who wanted the state government to clarify whether the cheongsam, which has slits along both thighs and is sometimes sleeveless, would be considered decent attire for female performers.
Tan said the guidelines, whether in their original form or amended, were a calculated move by the PAS-led state government to force Islamisation on others in Kedah.
He called on the state government to cancel all guidelines on performances organised by non-Muslims in the state.
“Gerakan can accept that artistes should dress decently but the state must state what is considered decent,” he said here yesterday.
The guidelines originally banned women from performing on stage but the state government did an about-turn and lifted the ban following a public outcry.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak, however, was adamant that performances would be stopped if organisers failed to abide by the guidelines, which stipulate that all artistes must dress decently.
“Decent clothing includes covering their chest, armpits and thighs. We do not want artistes on stage exposing their armpits or wearing clothes that cover the body only from their breasts to their belly button,” Azizan said on Tuesday.
The original four-point guidelines also barred bands from performing live music.
Tan claimed that the state government had as early as in 2008 proposed to bar female artistes from performing outdoors and segregating male and female audience members.
Kedah MCA chairman Datuk Chong Itt Chew claimed the fiasco surrounding the guidelines proved that the state administration was in chaos.
He said Azizan and his exco members were not in sync in implementing state directives, thus creating confusion among the people.
He said state Health, Youth and Sports, Culture, Arts, Heritage and Biotechnology Committee chairman Datuk Dr Hamdan Mohamed Khalib Hamdan, through his committee, should have proposed detailed guidelines to the state executive council for discussion and endorsement.
He also questioned whether live bands were now allowed on stage or if performers still had to use recorded music as accompaniment.
Kedah Chinese Assembly Hall deputy chairman Datuk Tan Soon Lee said the organisation was agreeable to the guidelines only if they focused on decent clothing for performers.
Ban on pop songs and bands not music to the ears