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Malaysia enforces gender-segregation rule for salons

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Takiyuddin Hassan, Culture and Tourism Committee chairman of Kelantan state said the by-law was enforced in line with the Islamic policies propagated by the fundamentalist Islamic party PAS government more than 10 years ago.

It is in line with our government's policy to safeguard women and curb sexual harassment at work places," he said, adding that the rule applied to all districts in the state.

However, such laws are not found in any other states except Kelantan ruled by PAS opposition party.

Takiyuddin, who is PAS assistant secretary-general, said licences and permits could only be issued based on the local government's rules and conditions and could be revoked at any time.

"As far as the state government was concerned, the ruling for unisex salons was a non-issue," he added.

He said the by-law was introduced in 1991 when the issuing of licences and permits to unisex salons state-wide was frozen in line with the PAS state government's slogan of "Growing with Islam" that applied to both Muslims and non-Muslims.

Takiyuddin said stricter conditions were applied in 1999 after it found salon operators were violating certain conditions stipulated in their permits.

"It is a known fact that hair salons and unisex establishments are the most convenient places for immoral activities. They provide a cover for men and women to engage in illicit activities," he claimed.

  

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