by Murib Morpi. Posted on April 5, 2011, Tuesday
KOTA KINABALU: A thorough study should be conducted before any edict is issued on the popular line dance poco-poco, said Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun.
“We will wait and see, and we will adhere to the ruling because we assume all the clerics at the national Fatwa (edict) council are learned experts on religious matters. So, we will accept their decision but we hope a detailed research will be conducted before any decision is made,” he said.
Masidi who was met after officiating at the opening of the “Busana Islam” exhibition at the Sabah Islamic Civilisation Museum here, was asked to comment on Perak’s decision last week to have the dance banned among the Muslims in the state.
The tourism minister pointed out that there were many contradicting opinions on the origin and meanings behind the dance, which is popular at social events in Sabah.
While Perak in banning the poco-poco has interpreted the dance as having Christian influences, Masidi contended that many view the dance as just a simple form of recreational exercise.
“I had the opportunity to discuss about poco-poco with vateran artist Datuk Maria Menado during the recent Malaysian film festival where she told me that the dance originated from Manado of the Indonesian North Sulawesi, and that it is just something people dance to for fun.
“She said when poco-poco music is played, people will automatically get up and dance. So popular was the dance that it was adopted as a recreational exercise by the Indonesia army. There were also some people who said poco-poco originated from Timor but Menado insisted its from Manado,” he said.
Perak Mufti Harrussani Zakaria on Tuesday last week told a Malay daily that the state Fatwa committee had decided to ban the dance as it had elements of Christianity and spirit worship.
Then Perak government on Wednesday confirmed the ban, saying it would adhere to the ruling made by the Perak Fatwa committee and called for all quarters to respect and not create any dispute over the decision.
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim however said the poco-poco dance was just another form of exercise and should not be banned nationwide.
The Mufti of Kelantan Datuk Mohamad Shukri Mohamad meanwhile suggested that the national Fatwa council conduct a study to determine the dance’s legal validity before deciding whether to ban it.
He said the matter had to be discussed at the federal level because it was a national issue and the states could take the cue from the ruling, adding state fatwa committees could only apply edicts decided by the national Fatwa council if they involved national issues for the sake of coordination.
Muslims have been advised to leave the matter to the authorities to make a decision and not discuss it to the extent of allowing their differences of opinion to cause disunity.
Imlek Fireworks 2011
Uploaded by maesaanful on Feb 26, 2011
Chinese New Year Celebration in Manado