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