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Malaysian, STOP banning everything

Posted by Neo On Monday, May 25, 2009
Now alcohol, what next? Porn? DVD? freedom to speak?

If you want to reduce moral decay, EDUCATE not LEGISLATE!!!

From SUN malaysia

Education and enforcement, not total ban, the answer, says Khir Toyo

PETALING JAYA (May 25, 2009) :
Education and enforcement, and not a total ban, are the keys to curbing problems arising from the excessive consumption of alcohol, former Selangor mentri besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo said today.

He said education on the ills of alcohol consumption should be extended to both Muslim and non-Muslim youths.

“They should be taught that alcohol is not good for health and on the ills of excessive consumption,” Mohd Khir said whenenting on issues raised during a dialogue between stakeholders pertaining calls for the ban of alcohol and beer in areas with majority Muslim population.

The dialogue,organised by the Selangor state government,was aimed at listening to views on the matter before it comes up with a guideline on the sale of alcohol in the state.

While religious organisations argued that easily available alcohol and beer would entice the young and Muslims, and that non-Muslims who drank posed a danger to themselves and people around them, those opposing the ban said this is a problem that should be addressed by the inculcation of strong religious values and self discipline so that those involved will not be easily tempted to take up habits that are against their religion.

“In terms of enforcement, during our administrationmthere was strict enforcement on the sale of alcohol to minors and Muslims and any outlet found selling alcohol to Muslims will have their licenses revoked immediately,” Mohd Khir said.

“This is a sensitive matter and there can be no total ban as we have to be careful about the sensitivities of the non-Muslims.”

"Hwever, i certain areas like Bangi, whether the majority of the population are Muslims, we did not allow the sale of alcohol and beer as there is no reason for anyone there to purchase these products."

Asked if there was any study done to determine the population of an area and if a ban on the sale of alcohol there was warranted, he said: “That depended on the discretion of the local authority.”
On the ban on the sale of beer in Shah Alam, Mohd Khir said: “We should see which area is involved to avoid infringing on the sensitivities of non-Muslims.”

Among the issues raised at the dialogue was also the attitude of overzealous local authority officers who have imposed bans on the sale of alcohol in some areas.

Some have also refused to renew the licenses of alcohol traders although these establishments have been in business for generations, while others had allowed their personal perceptions to influence their decision to not renew or issue licenses.

These are among the reasons why the state held an open dialogue to address the issue of non-uniform guidelines pertaining the issuing of licenses to shops, retailers including 24-hour stores, hypermarkets and Chinese medicine halls.

On May 13, 7-Eleven convenience shopping Sdn Bhd received a letter from the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) informing the them that the sale of alcoholic drinks and beer was not allowed in their stores in Sections 1-25 in Shah Alam, Bandar Baru Sungai Buloh (Section U20) and TTDI Jaya (Section U2).

It is learnt that some local authorities like those servicing areas like Bangi have already implemented this ban on their own accord. A spokesperson for Sepang Municipal Council who services a section of Bangi said in areas like the southern part of Sepang the ban is not in force as there are many non-Malays in the area.

From Malaysiakini website

Alcohol ban: Let's have sober decisions

The decision by a local authority in Selangor to restrict and/or ban the sale of liquor, medicated wines and beers in certain retail outlets, in particular, convenience stores and traditional Chinese medicine shops has generated much unease amongst the business sectors concerned and the community at large.

Notwithstanding the noble intentions of the proponents of the ban which is to curb social ills arising from alcohol abuse, I suggest that this issue should be handled in a rational and systematic manner.

Perhaps, in addition to public consultations, the state government should also engage with the various stakeholders separately, or jointly, in private consultations to gauge the true feelings on the ground.

The views of the various religious bodies and relevant professional institutions should also be sought. While open public dialogues are commendable, these sometimes have the tendency of degenerating into contentious debates that inflame emotions and entrench positions without resolving the root issues.

The rules applicable to the sale of liquor and alcoholic beverages in this country have been in use since independence in 1957, and indeed, decades before when Malaya (and then Malaysia) was under British rule. Hitherto, these regulations had never been a matter of concern.

If there is any change proposed, whether at local authority, state or national level, it is essential that such revision comes about only after careful study and research. Any proposed regulation must be in accordance with other existing federal and state laws or they will be challenged.

Local authorities must be mindful that In regulating local businesses, they have to act in accordance with the regulations in place, and not according to their personal views and prejudices.

Since the primary concern stems from the alleged consumption of liquor and beer by Muslim youth, empirical data must be obtained to bear out this contention. Public policy cannot be made on the hunches of a few persons.

Let us see the evidence. Perhaps the authorities should disclose the extent of alcohol abuse amongst Muslim youth so we may gauge the extent of the problem.

I would prefer that the energy and attention of all stakeholders and authorities, including the state government, be channeled towards tackling the pressing social ills and crime issues besetting Malaysian society and not to further regulate something which has not been proven to be a major source of the social problems.

Worse, tightening or banning the sale of alcoholic beverages will likely encourage a black market trade in such items, perhaps even boosting demand for illegal samsu (bootleg) and toddy.

This will cause a loss of revenue for the government, loss of jobs in the retail and manufacturing sectors concerned and would not help Malaysia's image as a competitive investment destination.
In India, for example, thousands are killed or injured each year through the consumption of illicit liquor.

I would suggest the Selangor state government undertake an authoritative study of the regulatory framework in other countries where there is a sizeable Muslim population to learn how this matter is handled.

These countries could include our neighbours such as Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines as well as other Muslim-majority countries such as found in the Middle East.

I am very perturbed that one of the criteria cited for advocating such restrictions and/or ban is the locality being a ‘Muslim majority area'. May I suggest that public policy decisions be based on what is right or wrong, good or bad, and not always on a simple majority vs. minority basis.

If this were to be the basis for public policy decision-making, the future is indeed bleak for multi-culturalism and diversity in Malaysia as simple demographic trends dictate that virtually all localities in Malaysia will become ‘Muslim-majority' in the years to come.

The strength of democracy lies in giving room to both majority and minority interests. That is the secret of a successful diverse nation.

Let us learn from the successes of the US, Singapore and Turkey in multi-culturalism and not follow other countries such as Sri Lanka and Yugoslavia where intolerance and lack of respect for minority views and interests have destroyed the very fabric of nationhood.

The writer is councillor, Petaling Jaya City Hall.

7 Response to "Malaysian, STOP banning everything"

  1. Guys, for full articles not written by any of us, please use 'From other websites'. This way we can differentiate which articles are ours and which are not.

    To post on 'From other websites', go to Customize, Layour, Page Elements, Add A Gadget, select Link List, and post the web address there.


  2. Neo Said,

    i have added another article from sun regarding selling of alcohol in selangor.

    If PR keeps this up, they will eventually lose all their non malay vote


  3. That's the problem with PR. They don't have enough good and smart people. I hope that this talent issue will go away come the next GE. I am prepared to give them a honeymoon until the next GE because PR was unprepared to form state governments this time around. It is quite clear that their win came as a shock to them as much as it was to us.

    And what ever it is, stay away from my beer and Guinness.


  4. Neo Said,

    why do muslim always highlight the bad part of alcohol?

    Alcohol can break the 'stranger' barrier... we become more happy when drinking beer.
    We bond better with some drinks.
    We can joke and lighten up.
    Why the muslim didn't highlight this?

    come on la muslim, lighten up abit, have a drink or 2


  5. Da Maniac Said,

    Most alcohol drinks are actually vegetarian...

    Wine from grapes
    Beer from barley
    Rice wine from rice
    Whiskey from malted barley
    Vodka from potato, molases, soybean, grapes
    Tequila from the Agave plant



  6. i cannot understand the fuss created with such healthy products. what next? ban vitamin c tablets?


  7. Neo Said,

    so better becareful if PR taking over federal government. Especially PAS demands

    This kind of thing, example 'banning of alcohol', what next ' censorship of astro/internet' is going to be even more heard.

    In this instance, BN is not so bad..


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