Dancing banned at karaoke establishments to prevent evils: official

Published: 15/04/2009 05:00



Mr. Le Anh Tuyen.

VietNamNet Bridge “Ecstasy always goes with wine and music. If the government doesn’t ban dancing at karaoke establishments, karaoke rooms will be misused by ecstasy users,” said Le Anh Tuyen, Chief of the Legal Department of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Draft regulations ban dancing at karaoke establishments

Why has the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism proposed the government ban dancing in karaoke establishments?

The current documents of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism don’t allow dancing in karaoke rooms but they are not documents issued by the government.

In my opinion, karaoke is a cultural activity which is always latent with social evils. The government specified that this form of service must be restricted and is a conditional business. Some people hire karaoke rooms not to sing, but to take ecstasy and dance. We have statistics of such cases.

Ecstasy always goes with wine and music so if the state doesn’t ban dancing, karaoke establishments will be misused. So we suggested not dancing at karaoke establishments. If someone wants to dance, go to discotheques.

To control evils, karaoke establishments must meet conditions in terms of area, sound, light, and others. Karaoke rooms must not be covered by opaque glass and not lock from the inside.

In your opinion, how should the ban of dancing in karaoke establishments be understood?

The concept of dancing is very large. Depending on the situation, inspectors will decide who violates the rules and at what level. If someone dances to soft music and doesn’t drink wine, doesn’t scream, the punishment will be gentle. There are many acts that the law can’t stipulate so specifically.

Because of a small group of people at karaoke establishments, state management agencies take measures that affect the demands of the majority. What do you think about this opinion?

There are different ideas in the field of culture. Some see this form of entertainment as healthy while others consider it as the latent home for social evils. The compilation group collected opinions of related people and compiled this regulation based on a massive number of opinions. We also have statistics about cases in which people took ecstasy at karaoke establishments. I’m sure the real number of cases is higher than in our statistics. Evils will not be prevented without banning dancing.

How many countries in the world apply that ban?

Management policies are different in countries. Japan invented karaoke but karaoke services in Japan are so different from Vietnam. In our country, karaoke often goes with ecstasy and prostitution so we have to use that regulation.

What do you think about the feasibility of this regulation?

First of all, people themselves must obey the rules. We are unable to check karaoke establishments very often. Inspectors must show evidence or the violators admit their mistakes so karaoke establishments are not allowed to lock doors, not use opaque glass or dim lights.

The draft decree stipulates that karaoke rooms in five-star hotels are permitted to open until 2pm, instead of 12pm. Why?

According to the present regulations, karaoke establishments have to close before 12pm. It is suitable for Vietnamese because workers have to sleep to work the next day. However, foreign tourists want to spend their time at discotheques and karaoke establishments. We surveyed 1,000 foreign tourists, 295 said they want to go to discotheques, 21% to karaoke establishments, and 30% to bars.

Vietnamese citizens can go to these places as well but these establishments often serve foreigners. Nobody can say that there are no social evils there but we have to satisfy foreign visitors’ requirements and enforce inspections.


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