22nd November 2020
LIQUOR SALE CURB IS UNJUSTIFIED
The case about DBKL’S latest ruling to curb the sale of liquor and the subsequent announcement by a deputy minister that the curb might extend to the rest of the country is both unnecessary and ridiculous. Period.
A few days ago, DBKL announced that starting October next year, sundry shops, grocery stores, convenience stores and Chinese medicine shops can no longer sell liquor. On November 21, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister Department (Religious Affairs) Ahmad Marzuk Shaary was reported to say the government has not ruled out expanding the ban to other states.
The public could see through that it was a tactic of testing for height all the way since last June when Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa made the call to the government to stop issuing liquor license.
Ahmad Shaary’s latest suggestion is like allowing a part of the camel’s body into a tent. The public, especially the non-Muslims, are mindful of what had been previously said by leaders of PAS. Non-Muslims had been frequently assured they would not be subjected to regulations pertaining to Islam and Islamic affairs, including Hudud issue. Non-Muslims were told that they could consume non-halal food so long as their religion permit.
As such, Patriot would like to remind Ahmad Shaary and the PAS leaders not to make a mockery of their words. Otherwise, public perception of their hypocrisy will only worsen.
If curbing of liquor sale is because of drink driving, there are better ways to tackle the problem. The approach must be an all-inclusive consultation including the business community, not merely with a show-making select group.
If health is the issue, surely these Smart Alec should know there are numerous other food and beverages that are worse for health compared to beer and mild liquor. It is not Patriot’s business to promote any alcoholic drink. But upholding social justice and the value of righteousness, encouraging fair business practices, and voicing up against bullying tactic; are within the bounds of our business.
Our Malaysian society had existed for generations. We have been a multi-racial and a multi-religious nation living in tolerance, understanding and mutual respect among the three major races. Based on this understanding, among others, our colonial masters gave us our independence in 1957 in a platter.
Politicians need to be reminded of the ramifications of their decision to curb liquor sales and not issuing license. These include jobs, small businesses, transport, restaurants, hotels, tourism, and our national income. Also, others might see our leaders as Taliban-like.
We would like to ask the pious Ahmad Shaary to tell us which is more evil – drinking liquor or corruption. Which is more damaging to our society and nation? Which evil attracts the Malay most?
We invite Ahmad Shaary to read our statement issued and carried in Free Malaysia Today, Malaysiakini, TheStar, Malay Mail, The Sun Daily, TheVibes, and Daily Express, on November 21 regarding the arrest of immigration officers. Ahmad Shaary should also look at the number of politicians currently under corruption charges.
For Annuar Musa and Ahmad Shaary, please tell us which of the two evils should action be taken first – against banning liquor or to eradicate the scourge of corruption among the Malay society.
BG Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji (Rtd)
Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan