'Non-Muslims can wear shorts in Langkawi' - Sanusi

27 Sep 2023 07:06pm

ALOR SETAR - Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor has denied claims that there is a ban on non-Muslim tourists to wear shorts and consume liquor in Langkawi.

Sanusi said he regretted that the issue was raised by Tourism, Arts, and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, who should be helping to boost the tourism industry in the legendary island.

"I don't know why this issue was brought up, maybe someone 'poked' him I guess. I don't want to argue with the minister, he should come and see for himself, instead of listening to what others say.

"I invited the minister to come to Langkawi wearing shorts because he is not Muslim, so is not forbidden," he said at a press conference after chairing the Exco meeting at Wisma Darul Aman, here on Wednesday.

Previously, an English-language newspaper quoted Tiong's statement regarding the matter, which he brought up in Parliament.

Tiong claimed that there were tourists complaining to the Tourism Ministry regarding the alleged abuse of power by certain government officials in Langkawi.

According to the newspaper report, Tiong in a recent Dewan Rakyat session claimed that some government officials allegedly harassed tourists regarding their dress code and alcohol consumption.

Sanusi however, tourists to be mindful of their attire and to not wear clothes that were too revealing.

"If their religion allows it, wear it, but you can't wear something that is too revealing or be naked on the beach, that does not fit our culture," he said.

He said Tiong's action in raising the issue would affect the tourism industry in the island.

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"He takes care of tourism, but when he raises such issues that is not even happening it will affect the tourism industry in the island.

"That is not the work of the Tourism Ministry. He come to Langkawi for a visit this should be the Tourism Ministry's work, not going around and reprimanding the customs and immigration staff at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)," he said.

Sanusi said that most tourists come to Langkawi to enjoy the beauty of the environment in addition to seeing the local culture, not because of alcohol.

"Don't make issues that have no benefit and instead harm. He takes care of tourism, so come and see for yourself the atmosphere of Langkawi. If you want to wear shorts of any length, go with what you like if there are sizes available for you," he said

He said the state government always strives to develop the tourism sector including in the mainland in promoting interesting places.

"It's not just Langkawi that we focus on, the mainland has Mount Jerai, rice fields, a rice museum, a state museum. There are many hot spots that can be marketed in the tourism sector in the mainland," he added