‘Do not impose blanket ban’

KUALA LUMPUR: The Immigration Department should not impose a blanket ban on foreigners coming for the now-banned Better Beer Festival or gay party, said MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

He expressed his surprise and disagreement with Immigration Department director-general Datuk Seri Mustafar Ali, who said it was working with the police and Malay­sia Islamic Development Depart­ment (Jakim) to block anyone arriving for those events.

Liow said it was understandable that the beer festival was cancelled for security reasons, but there was no need to ban its patrons from entering the country.

“As for the gay party, that’s a separate issue. We can respect some of the homosexual community’s viewpoints but their lifestyle is not recognised in Malaysia,” he said after opening the Selangor MCA convention yesterday,

Liow said Jakim’s involvement in the Immigration move was akin to moral policing.

“Drinking is a sin in Islam. But not for non-Muslims. It’s not up to them (Jakim) to decide (for non-Muslims) and MCA will continue to fight for our right to do so (drink).

“I am a vegetarian and I don’t drink. But I recognise other people’s freedom of choice,” he said.

Liow added that it was a different matter if a “Not to Land” notice was served on a known terrorist or troublemaker.

Also, he slammed DAP for accusing MCA of not standing up for the rights of non-Muslims in this issue.

“I want to remind DAP and Lim Kit Siang that three years ago, the Selangor government, when DAP was a close ally of PAS, banned Oktoberfest and the event had to be shifted to a parking lot,” he said, showing photos of the DAP adviser at the festival in 2014.

“The situation then was different; there were no terror threats in this country and the SEA Games was not being hosted by Malaysia. The region was not being threatened by terrorism either.

“DAP needs to own up to its mistakes, instead of running away,” Liow said.

He explained that thanks to DAP slogans such as “Voting for PAS is a vote for DAP” – when both parties were partners in Pakatan Rakyat – many issues became politicised or took on religious overtones.

Earlier, in his speech to the delegates, Liow praised Selangor MCA for its strong support for patriotic events organised by the party, including the recent Chinese Community Patriotic Assembly.

Several MCA veterans from Selangor divisions were also honoured for their years of service to the party.

In GEORGE TOWN, DAP’s Tanjong MP Ng Wei Aik also urged the Immigration Department to withdraw its decision not to allow foreigners into Malaysia for the festival, calling the move to identify and red-flag them as “ridiculous”.


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