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Published: Thursday March 3, 2011 MYT 5:40:00 PM

Kelantan assembly: Storm brews over gambling and alcohol

KOTA BARU: State opposition leader Datuk Md Alwi Che Ahmad had a heated argument with State Local Government, Culture, Arts and Tourism committee chairman Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan over alcohol and gambling.

The drama unfolded when Takiyuddin questioned Md Alwi’s statement to the press outside the House on Wednesday that the PAS-led Kelantan government was inconsistent in banning gambling but allowing non-Muslims to consume and sell alcohol.

Takiyuddin said the government had never condoned alcohol consumption in Kelantan as it was against Islamic teachings.

“Even Prophet Mohamad had allowed non-Muslims to consume alcohol during his time and the government is consistent in its move to allow non-Muslims in the state to consume or sell intoxicating beverages,” he said during the question and answer session at the Kelantan state assembly meeting held at Kota Darul Naim here Thursday.

Takiyuddin (PAS-Bunut Payong) then asked Md Alwi whether he wanted the government to revoke the licences given out to premises to sell alcohol.

Md Alwi said he had no power to compel the government to do so but said that those who had issued the licenses should be answerable to God.

Later, at a press conference outside the house, Md Alwi clarified that the Kelantan government practised double standards.

“If they had banned gambling activities they should also ban alcohol consumption for both Muslims and non-Muslims,’’ he said.