PETALING JAYA: Kelantan authorities are open to the possibility of re-allowing cinemas in the state.
However, the prospective operators must abide by the strict conditions and guidelines imposed by the Kota Baru Municipal Council, said Kelantan Deputy Mentri Besar Datuk Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah.
“We will weigh any applications if the interested parties are willing to abide by the conditions imposed by the licensing department,” he said.
It has been reported that the conditions include gender segregation, and restricted screening during night prayer time.
Nik Amar said this in response to a memorandum submitted by Kelantan PAS Youth against attempts to reopen cinemas in the state.
Kelantan PAS Youth chief Ahmad Fadhli Shaari expressed fear that it would only promote social ills.
After PAS wrested control of the state in 1990, cinemas were systematically closed down on grounds that it contravened the Entertainment Control Enactment 1998.
PAS Youth chief Nik Abduh Nik Aziz said operating cinemas in Kelantan came with strict conditions.
Earlier, Kelantan MCA secretary Datuk Lua Choon Hann had described such conditions as “laughable”, saying that Muslim families would also be affected as spouses, siblings and even parents and their children would have to be seated according to gender.
“Kelantan’s local authorities should prioritise safety, security and hygiene requirements above obsolete family-splitting gender separation demands.
“It is self-contradictory to compel males and females to sit separately while watching a movie, when the couple or siblings will later sit together in a car after leaving the cinema,” he said.
Lua, who is also the Kelantan MCA Economic Consultative Committee chairman, added that cinemas which complied with engineering and building plans would generate jobs and spur a chain of downstream supplies.