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UN Official Wants Kelantan to Lift Ban Against Traditional Art Like “Mak Yong” & Wayang Kulit


Un Official Calls For Kelantan's Ban Against Malay Traditional Art Forms Like "mak Yong" Dance & Wayang Kulit - World Of Buzz
Source: Sejarah Kelantan / Kat Pegi Mana

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This seems like a reasonable request! 

If you didn’t know yet, a UN (United Nations) official has urged Kelantan to lift its ban on several traditional Malay art forms like Mak Yong dance, Wayang Kulit and many more, which have been around for many decades.

According to FMT, Karima Bennoune said that it would be sad if these unique art forms were to be gone forever. Not only that, she explained that if they don’t revive these art forms, Malaysia or mainly Kelantan will lose a huge chunk of their culture. Awh! 🙁 

During the 8th World Summit on Arts and Culture Kuala Lumpur 2019, the UN’s special rapporteur said,

“Malaysia is renowned for these wonderful traditional performances and practices… I think it’s a terrible shame that these arts are banned in the state where they were actually born.”

“Instead these cultures with rich tradition should be celebrated and appreciated as it is one of the oldest performing arts in the world, thus I hope that the ban will be lifted as soon (as) possible.”


Wayang kulit | source: amazing alor setar

Karima reckons that the ban violates our rights to enjoy our rich and diverse cultural heritage. On top of that, she added that the artists of these traditional art forms should be supported and they should also receive some compensation following the ban.

FYI, the Kelantan state government put a ban on cultural performances like the Mak Yong dance and Wayang Kulit under the Entertainment and Entertainment Premises Enactment 1998. The ban was imposed on these art forms because they supposedly contained elements which aren’t aligned with the Islamic views. However, artists who perform these art forms were allowed to put on a show in closed venues.

On a different matter, Kamina praised the ban which was lifted on some books and the move to free political cartoonist, Zunar from his sedition charges. Nevertheless, she pressed that it mustn’t stop there and more should be done to guarantee artistic freedom. True that! 


mak yong dance | source: sejarah kelantan

Following that, a Kelantan state executive councillor (exco) revealed that a special committee had been formed to review the Mak Yong dance. They will be assigned to study if the dance is Shariah-compliant. State Culture, Tourism and Heritage Committee chairman Datuk Md Anizam Abd Rahman was quoted by The Malay Mail as saying,

“From there, we [the state government] will decide whether to allow the organiser to proceed with their plans. At the moment, no Mak Yong show is allowed in the state but the committee members are in the final stages of assessing the matter.”

Well, we will have to keep our eyes peeled for more information on this issue and hopefully, the Kelantan state government will be able to find the middle ground on this matter.

Do you think that the Kelantan state government should lift the ban on their traditional Malay art forms? Let us know what you think in the comments below! 


Also read: Watch: M’sian Kids Wow the Internet with Skillful Traditional Dance Performance

Watch : Msians Kids With A Traditional Dance Performance That Has Wowed Everyone - World Of Buzz 3

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