The Straits Times
Published on Nov 28, 2012

Kelantan appears to have softened stand on hair issue


KOTA BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - After several days of public outcry over the Kota Baru Municipal Council's gender policy on hair cutting, the Kelantan state government appears to have softened its stand on the issue.

However, it has yet to decide whether to revoke the municipal by-law that prohibits hairstylists in the state from attending to customers of the opposite gender, regardless of whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims.

"I will bring it up at the state executive committee meeting to be confirmed before making any official stand on the issue," Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat said on Tuesday. He is also the spiritual adviser of Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS), the party that rules Kelantan.

"It is possible because they (those who object) are non-Muslims. Islam allows them to practise their culture, as long as it is not in violation of the (Islamic) religion," he said, responding to questions on whether he would consider the appeals by hair salons to either scrap or review such by-laws.