Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Tuesday, July 7, 1998 Published at 10:43 GMT 11:43 UK


World: Asia-Pacific

A puritan's paradise



Malaysia is opening up a holiday paradise to Western tourists, while denying them the usual earthly pleasures.

Strict Muslim practices are observed in Kelantan province and visitors must not gamble nor drink. If they kiss in public they could face a heavy fine.

If Kelantan does not sound much like the traditional holiday destination, Malaysian tourism officials are not overly concerned. They believe that the absence of anything resembling nightlife should be seen as an asset.


[ image: No bikinis in Kelantan]
No bikinis in Kelantan
Due to the state's strict implementation of Muslim laws, Kelantan will be the perfect paradise for the ascetic. And officials are keen to point out that the absence of booze also means that there will be none of what they call "rowdiness", giving Kelantan the most peaceful beaches in the region.


[ image: No cuddling in the queues]
No cuddling in the queues

Kelantan's puritan attitude is apparent in the most mundane places. Even supermarkets have separate queues for men and women, enabling shoppers to avoid temptation in the fruit and vegetable aisle.

But there is just one more regulation that may surprise visting Westerners - cinemas in Kelantan must show films with the lights on.

The Chief Minister, Nik Aziz, explains: "It's easy to get these films on video and watch them in your own home, so if people go to the cinema it must be for something else. That can lead to adultery and fornication, so we think it's better to switch on the lights."





Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage |




Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia


Internet Links

Kelantan's entry on the Malaysia homepage

Kelatan.net


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Indonesia rules out Aceh independence

DiCaprio film trial begins

Millennium sect heads for the hills

Uzbekistan voices security concerns

From Business
Chinese imports boost US trade gap

ICRC visits twelve Burmese jails

Falintil guerillas challenge East Timor peackeepers

Malaysian candidates named

North Korea expels US 'spy'

Holbrooke to arrive in Indonesia

China warns US over Falun Gong

Thais hand back Cambodian antiques