KUALA TERENGGANU - There are enough laws to deal with indecent dressing in the state without the need for an attire code to be imposed on tourists, says the Mentri Besar.
Denying reports of such a plan, Datuk Ahmad Razif Abd Rahman said: "No, we did not have any discussion. I was surprised myself when the issue became viral.
He said he spoke to the exco chairman, who announced it. "And, there seems to be a misunderstanding," he added.
"If someone dresses indecently, there are existing laws to deal with it and we do not intend to introduce new rules," Ahmad Razif told reporters here yesterday.
State Tourism and Cultural Affairs exco chairman Datuk Mohd Jidin Shafee was quoted on the Terengganu government portal www.teganukita.com as saying that it would issue guidelines on attire for tourists, especially women. The article was removed a few hours later.
Ahmad Razif said his government was merely enforcing an enactment against indecent dressing that had been in existence since 2001.
"The enactment that says Muslims cannot dress indecently has been there since 2001 and it was put into place by the (then) PAS government.
"As a state head, I am only enforcing the rule. I am not adding anything more. I also do not see anything wrong with the move and I am sure Muslims support it, too.
"Our method is also to educate, not punish. Those caught will be sent for counselling and are advised not to repeat their offence," added Ahmad Razif.
The enactment, he stressed, did not apply to non-Muslims.
On his announcement last week that Muslims who skipped Friday prayers would be paraded in hearses, Ahmad Razif said this was meant to educate and not torture.
"Some other states parade Muslims in hearses for not fasting during Ramadan. People did not question that so why are they questioning Terengganu for doing this with Muslims who skip Friday prayers?
"I am very sure by implementing this, more Muslims will go to pray and that will be a good thing," he said.
Ahmad Razif however did not give a date for its implementation.