Having resided in Selangor for so many years, from Sunway City to Damansara Utama, it is news like this that makes me faint. Before I say any further, please let it be put into record that when I attempted to renew my Identification Card at Shah Alam, I was turned away and was not allowed to do so unless I cut my hair. And the officers have this aura of king-hoods about them. Yikes! The main city of Selangor contains such village mentality and vision? You bet! Then when I had done it at Damansara, everything was so smooth and the officers there were oh so friendly. The spirit of Malaysia seemed to be divided around.
Anyway, fast forward to the recent news of the raid at a 7-Eleven outlet in Section 8, Shah Alam in which 70 cans of beer were seized, I must say this: this can only happen in very few countries. And Malaysia is one of them! Now, the odd thing is that the raid was done by the Municipal Council. It was reported that the decision was made during the council's meeting. So alcohol is banned? Nope. That was why they later returned the beer cans back to the shop. It was after many leaders came up to speak out against the “raid”. It was never going to stop there. The state then decided to regulate the sales of alcohol in the state, courtesy of the State Minister Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim. Wonderful! Very soon, only Non-Muslims can touch beer cans now. Maybe?
And currently, we have an extremist from PAS, a religious party which in part forms the opposition party of Malaysia, Pakatan Rakyat: Datuk Dr Hassan Ali, who wants alcoholic beverages to be toed in line with the Syariah Enactment (a Muslim guideline). He also wants his DAP colleague to be removed from the government portfolio for meddling in the affairs of… the government collective itself. It gets even gets more insane when he requests establishments like 7-Eleven to bend their backs because there may be a “surau”, a Muslim prayer room, nearby. Now that we have the story, let us get to the thinking point of the issues.
This is in no way saying alcohol is good or bad. However, if taken in moderation, it is indeed good for health. Even some medications or lotions have alcohol in them. Doctors, yes even Muslim doctors, is exposed to alcohol all the time. So the reason why beer is so bad and will cause social ills is because of its alcohol on top of its barley content? I thought the only religious issue is the fear of “berkhayal”, or hallucinating? But hey, cigarettes contain drugs, but they are selling it anyway and many Malaysians are buying it regardless of race and religion. So that means there is nothing wrong with alcohol and everything else is subject to interpretation, and that includes drugs like nicotine.
Another matter of concern here is the so-called “residents” and their councilors who supposedly asked the Shah Alam Municipal Council to take action. Erm, so who are they? All I can hear is a PAS nutcase borrowing the strength of the word “residents” in order to do moral policing and control his own people. And most of all, he forgot us Non-Muslims, are also his people. Yep, let us remind him; we elected the opposition in order to wrestle the state away from the federal government who did not do their jobs for the state. We voted for change. So this is the change we are getting? Come on, grow up Mr. Hassan Ali.
And to add salt to our wounds, we Non-Muslims, are to go non-Muslim majority areas to get a decent beer. That means we have to drive out, or if we are staying there, move out. That means Mr. Hassan Ali’s suggestion not only discriminates against Muslims, he has silently advocated separation of Chinese and Indians, with Malay Muslims, which is contrary to 1Malaysia. Because if Muslims cannot touch a harmless can of beer (while smoking away), is it not obvious it will make Muslims lesser applicants for convenience shop jobs? It is no wonder then, that I see a lot of foreign workers at KK marts everywhere.
One rule for Muslims. One rule for Non-Muslims. The mixture of religion into the state. Indoctrinate and control your own people. Separate and alienate others. That is Malaysia today. Oh yes, it may turn into the only country in which convenience shops will transform into inconvenience shops if you wish to have a nice cold beer after an already hard day at work.
Yuki's Choice Reading:
Other opinions on the issue by Hafidz Baharom and Wong Chun Wai.