Kl Harapan Mps Furious Over Hard Liquor Ban In City
A total of seven Pakatan Harapan MPs have jointly expressed their deep disappointment and anger towards Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) ban on hard liquor sales on certain premises in the city effective this month.
“The ban on liquor sales in sundry shops and Chinese medicine halls reflects badly on the Malaysian government, exposing the government of Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob as intolerant because it does not respect the rights of its non-Muslim citizens.
“Federal Territories Minister Shahidan Kassim should not have approved DBKL’s new and additional guidelines,” they said in a jointly signed statement today.
The MPs include Tan Kok Wai (DAP-Cheras), Fong Kui Lun (DAP-Bukit Bintang), Teresa Kok (DAP-Seputeh), Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Kepong), Hannah Yeoh (DAP-Segambut), Tan Yee Kew (PKR-Wangsa Maju), and P Prabakaran (PKR-Batu).
They argued that hard liquor had always been sold in shops or businesses run by non-Muslim for the consumption of non-Muslims in the past and said current laws already ban liquor sales to Muslims and those under 21 years old.
“Why target the non-Muslim community? Isn’t this a violation of the rights of non-Muslims as equal citizens as provided for by the Federal Constitution?” The MPs questioned.
The group described the blanket ban by DBKL as cruel and considered it a blatant affront on non-Muslims, which go against the spirit of Keluarga Malaysia pushed by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Citing data from the Associated Liquor Merchants’ Association of Malaysia (ALMA), the group said the ban would cost RM50 million in revenue for the affected businesses.
They added that local authorities and the federal government should not impose such draconian rules when the businesses have already done their duty and paid DBKL and the federal government for various licences every year.
Instead, the group argued, the government should focus on assisting the premises during difficult times when everyone is affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We wish to remind Shahidan Kassim that as federal territories minister, he should know that sundry shops and Chinese medicine halls are small and medium businesses with low profit margins.
“The sales of liquor to non-Muslims in these shops are one of the main sources of revenue for them,” they explained.
The MPs urged Shahidan to set an example as a minister who serves all Malaysians regardless of race and religion and withdraw the liquor sales ban.
“Religious tolerance is paramount, and we know that Islam preaches tolerance, fairness and justice for all,” they said. - Mkini
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