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Thursday, 20 July, 2000, 15:00 GMT 16:00 UK
Unisex salons get the chop
Muslim women
PAS has ordered separate salons for women
A Malaysian state, which has already outlawed karaoke, has announced a ban on mixed sex hair salons.

The opposition Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS), which controls Terengganu state, is giving hairdressers until the end of the year to choose whether they want male or female clients.

If they still want to cater for both sexes they must have two locations to deal with men and women separately.


Female customers can only be served by female hairdressers, and men by male barbers.

"You must have separate premises to deal with female clients," Wan Muttalib Embong, the top state official for local government, housing and environment, said.

Those who fail to abide by the directive would have their licences revoked, he warned.

Karaoke

PAS, which also controls neighbouring Kelantan state, wrested northern Terengganu state from Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's ruling United Malays National Organization in last year's elections.

In both states, PAS has forced Muslim women to wear headscarves, ordered separate lines for men and women at supermarkets and curbed the sale of alcohol.

Last month PAS announced a ban on karaoke and traditional Malay dance in Terengganu.

A state official said such entertainment could "lead to an increase in vice".

Pop concert

PAS is also urging the government to stop two concerts by Western and Indian singers, saying they will promote unsuitable behaviour.

European techno-pop group Vengaboys, currently at number 16 in the British charts, and a group of Indian movie stars are set to perform in the country's capital Kuala Lumpur in the next few days.

PAS youth chief Mahfuz Omar said the government must stop programmes which could bring about "unwarranted behaviour".

The Union of Peninsular Islamic Students has also asked for a ban on the shows because men and women would be able to mingle freely and ecstasy pills and liquor might be consumed.

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See also:

06 Jun 00 | Asia-Pacific
Islamic state bans karaoke
13 Apr 00 | Asia-Pacific
Malaysian Islamists demand modesty
30 Nov 99 | Asia-Pacific
Mahathir secures fifth term
03 May 00 | Asia-Pacific
Malaysian paper sues government
26 Nov 99 | Asia-Pacific
Eyewitness: Battle for the Islamic vote
30 Nov 99 | Asia-Pacific
Malaysia's opposition: Breaking the mould?
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