KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 — The Kelantan government’s move to amend an enactment to allow caning in public will not affect Malaysia’s tourism industry, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said today.
The Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs said this is because Kelantan is already considered the least attractive state, and this new policy will just mean tourists will avoid visiting the state.
“It won’t affect tourism because there are other more attractive states. Kelantan is a state that is not frequently visited so if they want to make it less attractive that is their problem,” Nazri told the press after launching a tourism event here.
The minister then said tourists are still flocking the country despite news purportedly suggesting the rapid “Islamisation” of Malaysia when asked if the public caning law could portray the country as becoming more conservative.
He also believed that other states will not be influenced to follow Kelantan’s move.
Yesterday, the Kelantan state legislative assembly passed amendments to its Kelantan Shariah Criminal Procedure Enactment 2002, which among others will now allow Shariah offenders to be caned publicly.
The state is reported to be looking at holding the public canings at the stadium.
The amendment has yet to go through the state Ruler to be gazetted.
PAS is aiming to enforce the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code II 1993 amended in 2015, its version of hudud, but may not do so until legal barriers are removed at the federal level.
It has sought to amend the Syariah Court Act (Criminal Jurisdiction) 1965 or Act 355, which currently only allows the Shariah courts to mete out punishments limited to RM3,000 fine, five years’ jail and six strokes of caning.