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19 april 2008 03:20

1,500 dikir barat performers to break Malaysian record

1,500 dikir barat performers to break Malaysian record

Kota Baru - The Kelantan Government plans to gather 1,500 dikir barat performers in June in an attempt to create a new Malaysia Book of Records for the largest dikir barat performance.

Local government, culture and tourism committee chairman Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said the event would be the highlight of a month-long dikir barat festivity aimed at reviving and promoting the state`s unique cultural performance amongst the locals.

During that month, he said funds would be allocated to hold dikir barat competition at the grassroot level beginning with an inter-village event right up to the state level.

On June 26, the performers will then gathered at the Sultan Mohamad IV Stadium for the mammoth event with an eye at creating the record for the largest number of dikir barat performers at a single event.

"Rather than having one single big cultural or tourism event, we want to do a comprehensive programme that will involve everyone in the local community and this will cover not only dikir barat but other cultural event like `Wau Bulan" or Kite Flying competition to help with our tourism promotion efforts.

Dikir Barat is synonymous with the state and we feel such programme will generate interest especially among the younger generation."

In 1998, the Pas-led State Government banned dikir barat for being un-Islamic and immoral with indecently-dressed female performers and free mixing of both sexes but relaxed it later on the grounds that the organisers did not mix it with other forms of entertainment.

Takiyuddin said the winner of the state-organised competition would also represent the country in an inter-asean dikir barat competition which it plan to hold here in Septembers. Foreign teams will be invited from Brunei, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand.

Meanwhile, Takiyuddin said he hoped the new Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Azalina Mohd Said would include the five opposition-led states including Kelantan in their programmes.

"I was dismayed to hear that the new Minister had voiced out plans to review the programmes in these states as I feared it will mean that we will be sidelined.

"It would be regretful if Kelantan, Kedah, Selangor, Perak and Penang are excluded or the existing programmes reduced as it would affect the country`s total effort to promote culture and tourism," he said adding that he planned to meet with Azalina personally to discuss the matter.

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