Terengganu says no bikini ban on its islands and beaches

Emmanuel Santa Maria Chin
Mohd Nor Hamzah said the decision to dress in bikinis is the right of non-Muslim tourists, and it is also considered common practice at holiday spots. — Picture by KE Ooi

KUALA LUMPUR, June 22 — The PAS government in Terengganu stressed that it will not restrict non-Muslims from donning bikini swimwear on the state’s beaches and islands.

Malay daily Kosmo! reported Terengganu Humanity, Preaching, and Information committee chairman Mohd Nor Hamzah as saying the decision gelled with the state government’s stance of being tolerant and maintaining harmony among the state folk.

“Furthermore, the decision to dress in bikinis is the right of non-Muslim tourists, and it is also considered common practice at holiday spots.

“We also do not plan to implement harsh punishments or restrictions on non-Muslim visitors including those dressed in bikinis,” he was quoted saying in the daily.

However, he conceded that authorities may, from time to time, approach the tourists for “discussions” on the matter, but did not explain what this would entail.

Terengganu is home to many holiday islands on the east coast of the peninsula, including Pulau Perhentian Kecil & Besar, Pulau Kapas, Pulau Tenggol, and Pulau Redang.

Around five million visitors were recorded in the state last year, with the local government aiming at achieving 6.5million visitors, raking in a total of RM6 billion come 2025.

The state is among the most overwhelmingly Malay-Muslim in the country, with around 97 of the population recorded as hailing from the dominant race.