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PUBLISHED: Aug 14, 2014 5:07pm

Penang should cancel ‘un-Islamic’ Zumba carnival, says NGO

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ZALINAH NOORDIN By:
Zalinah Noordin

Persatuan Mukabuku Pulau Pinang secretary Muhsin Abdul Latheef says some movements (used in Zumba) are just too much to be executed in public as it goes against the grain of Islamic teachings. — TRP pic

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GEORGE TOWN, Aug 14, 2014:

A Merdeka Day Zumba or workout dance event allegedly endorsed by the state government namely Penang Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon has drawn flak from a non-governmental Organisation (NGO).

Persatuan Mukabuku Pulau Pinang secretary Muhsin Abdul Latheef described the event as being insensitive towards a fatwa allegedly issued by the Sabah Mufti in which a Zumba event organised by the Puteri Umno wing was called off in respect of the decree.

“I don’t understand the rationale of the deputy chief minister who is thought to be a learned person in matters of religion to be endorsing an event deemed haram by the fatwa council.

“By right he should be more sensitive towards such matters what more on the night of Merdeka Day; he should show respect,” said Muhsin.

A banner, depicting a photograph of Mohd Rashid and which promoted the event called Merdeka Let’s Zumba Carnival to be held on Merdeka Day in Sunway Tunas, Bayan Baru from 7pm to 10pm where admission is free with free T-shirts and a lucky draw for the first 1,000 participants was spotted in Bayan Baru today.

“By right, the event should have been called off as it is unsuitable for some Muslim women — especially those who carry the Islamic image — to be dancing to upbeat tunes in public, be it whether Zumba is a form of workout or not.

“Some movements are just too much to be executed in public and it goes against the grain of Islamic teachings and I urge the Penang Fatwa Council to look into this and possibly emulate its Sabah counterpart in this matter and just cancel the event,” he added.

Muhsin also provided a link to a blog (http://omakkau.blogspot.com/2014/07/mufti-sabah-mengeluarkan-fatwa-bahawa.html?m=1) where a copy of the Fatwa said to be issued by the Sabah Fatwa Council is shown.

Meanwhile, in a respond to The Rakyat Post, Mohd Rashid expressed shock over the matter, saying it was just a form of exercise.

However, he added that he will look into the matter and said that he has yet to receive any complaints on the event.

According to WikiPedia, Zumba is a fitness dance programme created by Colombian dancer and choreographer Alberto “Beto” Perez during the 1990s.

Zumba involves dance and aerobic elements. Zumba’s choreography incorporates hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, merengue, mambo and martial arts.

Squats and lunges are also included and is fast gaining popularity in Malaysia with many taking it up as part of a fitness regime.

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