Unesco wants Kelantan to lift ban on Mak Yong

Source: FMT News

UN Special Rapporteur Karima Bennoune says ‘Mak Yong’ dance should be celebrated and appreciated as it is among the oldest performing arts in the world. Image taken from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Kelantan government has been urged to lift its ban on public performances of the “Mak Yong” dance and other traditional artistic Malay art forms.

The United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Karima Bennoune, said these cultures with rich tradition should instead be celebrated and appreciated as they were among the oldest performing arts in the world.

She said measures should also be taken to provide better understanding and explanation of the meaning of these practices and their long history in Malaysia, to overcome prejudicial views about them.

“Kelantan has a rich artistic tradition and the restrictions of other traditional art forms like wayang kulit, main puteri and dikir barat must also be lifted.

“Everybody should be able to enjoy it and people must learn to value and appreciate native cultures that have been around for centuries. Read more

UN envoy says govt’s contradiction over religious extremism worrying

Source: FMT News

UN special rapporteur Karima Bennoune questions discrepancy between rhetoric and reality on Islamic fundamentalism and extremism in Malaysia. Image taken from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: The UN special rapporteur in the field of cultural rights Karima Bennoune has revealed that while the Malaysian government has voiced its rejection of Islamic fundamentalism and extremism, there was concern over perceived contradictions.

In a report on her preliminary observations during a visit to Malaysia from Sept 11 to 21, Karima Bennoune reported on some of these contradictions as told to her by the different sectors of Malaysian society whom she met.

“They expressed concern that the contradiction to these stated commitments was part of the growing Islamisation of Malaysian society and polity based on an increasingly rigid and fundamentalist interpretation of Islam,” Bennoune said.

“It is critical to ask what accounts for this striking discrepancy between rhetoric and lived reality recounted by many and what its consequences are for the enjoyment of cultural rights.” Read more