Watch shop in Kelantan fined for 'sexy' posters, one featuring actress Aishwarya Rai

The posters of Aishwarya Rai (left) and the models are deemed sexy in the MPKB summons.
The posters of Aishwarya Rai (left) and the models are deemed sexy in the MPKB summons. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A non-Muslim watch retailer has been summoned by the Kota Baru Municipal Council (MPKB) over two "sexy" posters, including one of actress Aishwarya Rai - an "offence" he has supposedly committed more than 10 times since the 1990s.

Swee Cheong Watch & Pen Co owner Lee Kum Chuan said he was ordered to pay fines even before he started operating the shop in Aeon Mall, which opened in April. He runs two other similar outlets at KB Mall and Tesco in Kota Baru.

"When I went to MPKB to apply for a business permit for the new shop (at Aeon Mall), I was told to settle the old fines for the same offence committed in KB Mall.

"I was hit with a total RM2,000 (S$668) in fines but the amount was reduced to RM400. I had to pay the sum before I could get the new permit," said Mr Lee, adding that he has had to pay fines of several hundred ringgit about 10 times since the 90s.

MPKB enforcement officers raided his shop in Aeon Mall at 3.40pm on Monday (July 25).

Mr Lee was ordered to take down the posters, one showing the famous Bollywood star and the other of a couple of models, by Aug 1. The outfits in the posters were deemed too sexy by the council.

"The posters were supplied by our manufacturers," said Mr Lee.

According to MPKB's terms of business permits, owners are not allowed to display sexy photographs at their shops.

Kelantan MCA secretary Datuk Lua Choon Hann said what was happening on the ground proved that PAS was merely paying "lip service" when it said that hudud laws would not affect non-Muslims.

Mr Lua also pointed out that four years ago, the council had taken action against hairdressers in Kota Baru for attending to clients of a different gender.

"PAS has proved yet again that its repeated claims that the hudud enactment will have no bearing on non-Muslims are nothing but mere fallacy," he said in a statement on Tuesday.

He said MCA would prevent at all cost the Private Member's Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 355, to enhance punitive powers of the syariah courts, from being passed in Parliament.

"Based on the summonses issued by local councils (in Kelantan), MCA wants to raise awareness of the motives to remove clauses in the Federal Constitution that protect the rights of non-Muslims and Muslims against punitive criminal actions based on religious precepts," he said.

Mr Lua noted that the syariah criminal code passed in Aceh last year was applicable even to non-Muslims.

"This includes public whipping of even non-Muslims caught selling and consuming alcohol, gambling or committing adultery."