KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 — Kelantan would discourage visitors to the state if its local authorities persist with fining non-Muslims over their attire, said Tourism, Arts, and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.

While emphasising that he was not challenging any religion in the country, the minister said the enforcement action against the woman in Kota Baru went against the religious freedom guaranteed by the Federal Constitution.

“If the incident in which a non-Muslim woman was fined for indecent attire were to repeat, then it will create anxiety and severely impact local residents and tourists, thereby jeopardising the state’s tourism,” he said in a statement today.

The minister then said Malaysia was a plural country with diverse races and religions.


Tiong also said that while Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution states that “Islam is the religion of the Federation,” other religions may be practised peacefully in the country.

“Therefore, I would like to invite all PAS leaders to learn from Islamic countries that are also internationally powerful such as Saudi Arabia which is developed and growing in their tourism sector, without denying the rights of others of different faiths,” he said.

On Monday, the New Straits Times reported that Kota Baru Municipal Council enforcement officers issued a fine to a 35-year-old woman who operates a clothing business during their inspection of the outlet in the city.


Council president Rosnazli Amin said that the woman had violated the Business and Industrial Trade By-Laws 2019.