Plan to extend liquor sale ban to other states unnecessary, says Patriot

PETALING JAYA: The possibility that the ruling to curb the sale of liquor could be extended to other states is both unnecessary and ridiculous, says National Patriots Association (Patriot).

Its president Brig-Jen (Rtd) Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji said non-Muslims had been frequently assured they would not be subjected to regulations pertaining to Islam and Islamic affairs, including the hudud issue.

"Non-Muslims were told that they could consume non-halal food as long as their religion permitted it.

"As such, Patriot would like to remind Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Ahmad Marzuk Shaary and the PAS leaders not to make a mockery of their words. Otherwise, public perception of their hypocrisy will only worsen," he said in a statement on Sunday (Nov 22).

This is in response to the remarks made by Ahmad Marzuk that the government had not ruled out expanding Kuala Lumpur’s liquor sale ban on sundry and grocery shops, convenience stores along with Chinese medicine shops to other states.

The Deputy Minister said he welcomed the decision by the Federal Territories, via the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), in disallowing liquor sale in these shops from October next year.

Mohamed Arshad said Malaysians have been living in a multi-racial and a multi-religious country, living in tolerance, understanding and have mutual respect among the three major races.

"If curbing liquor sales 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 they should know there are numerous other foods and beverages that are worse for health compared to beer and mild liquor," he said.

He added that although 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 tactics are within the bounds of the group's business.

"Politicians need to be reminded of the ramifications of their decision to curb liquor sales and not issuing licences. These include jobs, small businesses, transport, restaurants, hotels, tourism, and the national income," he said.

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