Cre­ative so­lu­tions in­stead of out­right ban may al­low Ke­lan­tan folk to en­joy movies

New Straits Times - - Opinion -

LIV­ING in Ke­lan­tan has its advantages and disad­van­tages. Most things here are rel­a­tively cheap, in­clud­ing fruits and veg­eta­bles, thanks to the many items that are brought in (and some­times smug­gled in) across the border.

One glar­ing thing that is lack­ing, though, is recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties — to such an ex­tent that some fam­i­lies bring their chil­dren to the air­port to watch planes touch­ing down and tak­ing off.

There are many beaches, but most of them are un­safe, es­pe­cially dur­ing the mon­soon sea­son and re­ports of drown­ing are not un­com­mon.

Ta­man Tengku Anis is the sole pub­lic park in Kota Baru and dur­ing week­ends, it is burst­ing at the seams as al­most ev­ery­body in the state cap­i­tal seems to rush there with their fam­ily mem­bers for var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties.

So, when the peo­ple of Ke­lan­tan heard about a cin­ema open­ing up in neigh­bour­ing Tereng­ganu re­cently af­ter a dearth of nearly 20 years, they were lit­er­ally green with envy.

You see, in Ke­lan­tan, even the open­ing of a cin­ema is a big is­sue, with cer­tain groups deem­ing it unIs­lamic.

A ban­ner put up by un­known par­ties an­nounc­ing the open­ing of Paragon Cin­ema at the main shop­ping cen­tre in Kota Baru last year drew mixed re­sponse from the lo­cals.

Many were ex­cited to have a chance at last to watch box-of­fice movies in com­fort af­ter be­ing de­prived of it for nearly two decades.

The last cin­ema in Kota Baru, the Lido, folded in the 1990s, af­ter los­ing the bat­tle then to pi­rated VCDs (video com­pact discs), which flooded the mar­ket.

Ke­lan­tan Pas Youth, as usual, was quick to ob­ject against the planned cin­ema, hand­ing out a mem­o­ran­dum to the men­teri be­sar and the Kota Baru Mu­nic­i­pal Coun­cil to re­mind them to main­tain the strict rul­ing per­tain­ing to the is­sue.

Ke­lan­tan prob­a­bly has the strictest reg­u­la­tions in the coun­try for cine­mas, in­clud­ing hav­ing bright light­ing dur­ing shows and sep­a­rate seats for men and women.

State Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Hous­ing, Youth and Sports com­mit­tee chair­man Datuk Ab­dul Fat­tah Mah­mood, how­ever, raised eye­brows when asked about the cin­ema open­ing in Tereng­ganu.

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