In Terengganu, PAS mulls nod for cruise ships with gambling and booze in bid for tourism boost

The PAS government in Terengganu in considering a relaxation of its religious laws barring alcohol and gambling, specifically for cruise ships it hopes to entice to the state, according to a state official.

(MMO) – Channel News Asia (CNA) reported Terengganu’s tourism, culture and information technology executive council chairman Ariffin Deraman as saying talks in this area were ongoing with cruise operators like Seabourn Cruise Line.

Terengganu is hoping to be an alternative stopover point for northbound cruises departing from Singapore.

“We are working towards allowing these cruises to stop by Terengganu, and the passengers to visit us. By 2021, god willing, this will be allowed,” he said.

The state, which is the jump off point to popular island destinations like Pulau Redang and Perhentian, is also known for traditional Malay arts and culture like kite flying and top-spinning.

However, Terengganu and neighbouring Kelantan have strict religious laws introduced by previous and present PAS administrations.

Noting that the cruises from Singapore stop at Klang on the west of the peninsula, Ariffin said Terengganu could be a viable alternative on the east for liners on the way to countries like Thailand, Myanmar and Macau.

“The cruises are passing by to explore the beauty of Terengganu. So what happens inside, like casino or alcohol consumption that are against Islam, it’s not really our concern. I personally don’t think it’s a problem,” the Alor Limbat assemblyman told CNA.

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