Can you imagine a world without cinemas? Imagine waking up one day and hearing the news that they’re banning cinemas. Actually, this is the reality for some Malaysians. If you didn’t know, Kelantan and Perlis are the only states in the country without cinemas.
Why? For Kelantan, cinemas were closed down back in the 90s as they didn’t follow the guidelines under the Entertainment Control Enactment 1998. Fair enough. PAS Youth even protested cinemas to be reopened as they’re considered haram but does this rule apply to them too?
Let’s do a little recap for context. Back in 2016, Kelantan’s PAS Youth Chief, Ahmad Fadhli Shaari rejected the idea of reopening cinemas in the state as it is considered haram. In his words, he said, “It is feared that cinemas can invite various problems and contribute to the growing social problems.” He emphasised that the current state of Kelantan should remain as it is.
However, things got a little heated up on social media when netizens discovered that Ahmad Fadhli, the same Youth Chief who was against cinemas in Kelantan, attended a movie screening in Kuala Lumpur recently. Photos of the political party member was uploaded on Twitter where he was seen talking to the media in the cinema hallways and in the cinema hall itself about to watch the movie.
Human Rights activist Khalid Ismath called out the PAS Youth Chief on his double standards on Twitter by tweeting, “When the people asked to build a cinema in Kelantan, PAS said it was haram but PAS members went to see movies in KL cause suddenly it’s not haram”. Netizens joined in expressing their frustrations over the hypocrisy.
After the online backlash, Dewan Pemuda PAS Selangor came to Ahmad Fadhli’s defense by posting on their official Facebook clarifying the situation. According to the statement, the PAS Youth Chief simply accepted an invitation to watch a movie (presumably “Mat Kilau”) that can only be seen in cinemas and that they still stand with the decision that Kelantan should remain cinema-less.
If you look through the comments of the official statement, you can see netizens were not having it. What do you think of this whole situation?