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Review Liu’s position in state exco: S’gor PAS (Updated 9:20pm)

Updated 9:20pm, 4 Aug 2009

SHAH ALAM, 4 Aug 2009: Selangor PAS today urged that the position of the DAP’s Ronnie Liu as State Local Government, Study and Research Committee chairperson be reviewed following allegations that he had interfered in enforcement by the local authorities.

“It is apt due to past incidents … maybe [we will] shift the portfolio to somebody else. This may to some extent mitigate some of the problems that we are facing,” state PAS commissioner Datuk Dr Hassan Ali told a press conference in Selangor today.

Liu (Source:
Hassan, who is also state Islamic Affairs and Malay Customs, Infrastructure and Public Facilities Committee chairperson, said he was informed by some state government officers that they were unhappy with interference by certain individuals, including Liu, in efforts to prevent the sale of liquor to Muslims in Selangor.

Liu had disputed the action of the Shah Alam City Council in seizing 70 cans and bottles of alcoholic drinks from a 7-Eleven outlet in Section 8 here on 30 July. A press report said the items were later returned to the convenience store.

Liu was also reported to have said the existing ruling on the sale of liquor in Selangor remained until a new guideline was issued by the state government.

Hassan, however, said the decision to prohibit the selling of alcoholic drinks in areas Muslim-majority areas was made at the Shah Alam City Council full-board meeting recently, following pressure from the local community.

Selangor PAS information chief Roslan Shahir Mohd Shahir said Liu had also questioned the raid by the Subang Jaya Municipal Council and Selangor Islamic Religious Affairs Department (Jais) on an entertainment outlet in Bandar Sunway where Jais arrested Muslim patrons caught consuming liquor.

He said Liu had contacted and questioned the officers involved in the raid for taking the action, even though the Selangor Syariah Criminal Enactment 1995, which came into force in 1996, had categorised consuming and selling liquor as a syariah offence for Muslims.

Hassan said with these developments, Selangor PAS urged the state government to be serious in the matter by expediting the drawing up of a suitable guideline for the whole state in line with the Syariah Criminal Enactment (Selangor) 1995 to avoid any future controversy.

He stressed that the ruling only applied to Muslims as PAS had never demanded that the consumption by and sale of liquor to non-Muslims be curtailed.

Trespassing rule of law

Meanwhile, DAP National Publicity Secretary Tony Pua criticised Hassan’s comments in a media statement today.

Pua said Liu was only carrying out his duties responsibly, and Hassan’s public rebuking “openly [trespassed] the rule of law both in Selangor and in Malaysia”.

“As a member of the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state government under the leadership of Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, [Hassan] should resolve this matter with fellow executive councillors during the state exco or PR meetings. 

“Any decision arrived at during these meetings, based on the principles of justice, accountability and transparency, should be adhered to in the spirit of a coalition government. No attempt shall be made to unilaterally impose one’s views in the state government’s policies,” Pua added. — Bernama

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11 Responses to “Review Liu’s position in state exco: S’gor PAS (Updated 9:20pm)”

  1. Tanjong8 says:

    Hassan Ali has done it again.

    We know his role in talking with Khir Toyo to form the unity government between PAS and Umno.

    Sooner or later, we have to deal with him. We have to separate him from PAS whenever we talk of Selangor PAS’s position as there are other good Selangor PAS leaders.

  2. Right2Choose says:

    We need to find other ways to prevent Muslims from purchasing/consuming alcoholic drinks without inconveniencing non-Muslims. If a Muslim wants to consume alcoholic drinks, he will find a way to get it, maybe travel to an area where it can be sold. Difficult but not impossible. To the casual drinker restricting beer in some areas will be an inconvenience. So please don’t make life difficult for non-Muslims especially if it will not solve the problem of Muslims consuming alcoholic drinks. Please try to work out something for the common good. Maybe like producing your MyKad or something like that. Think about it, there ought to be a way to make everyone happy.

  3. kanna says:

    If PAS is truly interested in looking into the welfare of the Muslims then I suggest they come with steps to address the drug abuse and Mat Rempit problem because these are the major problems faced by the Malay [Malaysian] community in this country. Let’s not bark up the wrong tree for the sake of political mileage.

  4. Joon says:

    Does this mean that shops near school should stop selling cigarettes to discourage students from smoking?

    What about building a different terminal in the airport that does not sell duty free alcohol just for the Muslims? To help remove the temptation.

    Makes good sense?

  5. cheap says:

    Yet another yet stunt by PAS. They are all becoming Saints. Good for the future of PR. There are many Saints among them. Hahaha.

  6. Hang Tuah 1 says:

    I don’t drink liquor. I can be in a place where everybody is drinking, I can be in 7-Eleven – cans of beer for sale. But I am not affected. I just don’t drink.

    What PAS and Muslim enforcers are doing is an insult to Muslims – they just don’t believe their religion can stop them from temptation.

    To remove the sale of beer from 7-Eleven does not solve the problem. Muslims can buy them in the town center when they are working – or they will just ride their motorbikes to another taman. This is hypocrisy. You cannot stop hypocrites, can you?

    How about stopping the sale of liquor in MAS?

    Other problems are more serious,
    how about dealing with Mat Rempits???
    Muslim authorities have failed, and so they go for the easy ones like removing cans of beer from 7-Eleven.

    The best way is to deal with the company – btw, who is the boss of 7-Eleven???

  7. SpeakUp says:

    It’s pathetic to say BAN alcohol and it will solve the drinking problem. Muslims or youngsters need to be curbed. Not ban the drink. Look at the East Germans, no porn etc. Once the Wall came down they bought porn first, of course they also bought Boom Boxes too.

    So we need to curb the problem at the personal level. If they cannot drink in Shah Alam they can always go to KL la. What is the difference. I see so many Muslims drinking openly in clubs and pubs all around Malaysia!

  8. ganesh says:

    Deal with smoking first lah. I believe there is a religious ruling on this. Unenforced.

  9. Kamal says:

    First, with regards to alcohol and cigarettes there needs to be more stringent monitoring of sales to all minors – not just Muslims. And this shouldn’t come under the purview of Islamic law, but under the existing civil law.

    There should be an age limit to the consumption of alcohol. In America the age limit is 21 years old. Also, if there are public concerns like high risk to public order and road safety, more enforcement can be introduce to monitor and arrest DUI (drinking under the Influence) offenders. In Malaysia, unfortunately DUI is still taken lightly. I was in Australia towards the end of last year and if I am not mistaken, in Sydney the police chief created a cordon within certain areas where public consumption of alcohol was banned during the new year countdown.

    Putting a limit to alcohol for the sake of religious sanctification I think misses the point. If Muslims are heavily consuming alcohol, but are not endangering society or making a public nuisance, than perhaps gentle persuasion and counselling should be the response. However, if they are driving while intoxicated or are causing mayhem, you don’t need to use Islamic law to arrest them. Plus, it should not only matter if Muslims DUI or cause havoc while intoxicated, it should apply to everyone.

    I don’t think the PAS leaders are being honest with what they want to do. If they are saying that business operators must be responsible, fair enough, but the law should cover the well-being of society and it should spell out the dangers to society (and not only Muslims). As one writer wrote, he finds the suggestion that Muslims are not able to control themselves as insulting. I have to agree with him. My point is that living in a multicultural society we need to respect the needs of others. There is no need to ban alcohol sales in Muslim predominated areas, just as there is no need to close restaurants during the fasting month (and we don’t) because part of our spiritual obligation to God is self-control.

    Responsible business is different, it means abiding by the law. The law says don’t sell alcohol to minors and syariah law states Muslims cannot consume alcohol. Perhaps educating business operators to practice responsible business by encouraging them to control the sale of alcohol on their premise (i.e. require identification before purchase – and this is common in the US to curb the sale of alcohols to minors) is a more practical solution. Plus, on what laws do the authorities have to confiscate beer from 7-11 outlets? They cannot just act on emotion and sentiments, otherwise municipal governance will be inconsistent and can turn tyrannical -far worse than the intoxication of alcohol, perhaps is the intoxication with power.

    And for Ronnie Liu, you are in an unenviable position, but this is an opportunity for leaders to cross boundaries. Recognize that alcohol is not a cultural or religious matter. Many Western societies today advocate responsible drinking. Look at what they mean and how they manage it. Sometimes banning the sales of alcohol in 24 hr outlets is not such a bad thing for society and limiting the sales to special alcohol-only outlets or in supermarkets is recognizing that alcohol, while legal, needs responsible and mature consumption. Limiting licensing can mean more efficient monitoring.

    And why do it? For a number of reasons; to reduce sales to minors, to reduce the abuse of alcohol consumption (for all) and to create awareness to the negative implications of over-consumption. Malaysia is very very lax on laws about public consumption of alcohol compared to say, Australia or the US. I remember when I studied in the US people didn’t drink beer openly in public. It was either at the pubs or they carried it in a brown paperback! And remember in the early 1900’s they even introduced the Prohibition (where alcohol sales were banned in the US).

    In Malaysia, you can drink anything in broad daylight and anywhere. We have no prohibitions against selling alcohol near schools, or where minors can have easy access. While I think requiring people to register before buying alcohol (like when we purchase prescription medicine) is an overkill, I feel there is a legitimate concern over how available alcohol is to minors in Malaysia. And how there is very little public concern over the problem of alcohol abuse. Perhaps Ronnie can increase awareness to the need for responsible drinking by publishing the statistics of DUIs and if there are any records of fatalities as well as if there are any means to control sales to minors. Link up with the Ministry of Health, the welfare department and the PDRM to explore the important health and societal concerns with regards to alcohol abuse.

    As for what some argue as inconvenient, is it really? Pubs are open till very late and people can always plan ahead like with everything else. Imagine how Australians must feel, most shops close by 5pm, or at latest 10pm.

    As for ethnic or religious sensitivity, I beg to differ. Muslims are prohibited to consume alcohol. It is a personal responsibility. But if a drunk Muslim commits a crime because he is under the influence what difference is there to if he was a non-Muslim? That is why I am advocating here awareness to responsible drinking. The Islamic prohibition in private space is between the individual and God.

    Finally, there are so many common concerns that PR leaders can take up together. Stop looking at communal interests and start thinking of the good of society. We all want safer streets (Mat rempit menace is not just a Malay [Malaysian] problem); we all want clean and safe drinking water; we all want safe and clean food outlets; we all want a cleaner environment; we all want better basic facilities in our residential area; like a field, common spaces, libraries, green lungs in our neighborhood, consistent garbage collection, working street lights, and much more; we all want a place to worship in our neighborhood; we all want a place to intern our beloved family and friends who have deceased at a reasonable basic cost; we all want free public education; we all want efficient public transportation; we all want security at work; and much, much more. It doesn’t matter what your religion is or what ethnicity you come from, we all want basically the same thing. And because we are more common than we are different, we have so much to talk to each other about than we do talking against each other.

  10. Sick of Racists says:

    […] why [does] everything have to be seen [from] a racial point of view? Whoever thinks that alcohol is a much-needed source of nutrition should feed it to their kids. Why waste money on milk?

    I am surprised why alcohol is so easily purchased here compared to many other developed countries without any sense of social responsibility. Strangely enough just because one group of people in Malaysia is not supposed to consume alcohol, any control in sales of alcohol has been seen racially. Guess what? Muslims are not supposed to consume heroine, marijuana and speed. Should we legalise them, too?

  11. Azizi Khan says:

    Sick of Racists,

    In all honesty, why not ban everything bad? Let’s not give Malaysians a choice. After all, Malaysians are so dumb that they cannot think for themselves, right?

    We need religion to tell us right? We need PAS and Umno people to tell us, right. The average Malaysian might as well be a mindless zombie, right?

    I am not condoning the sale of alcohol or whether it’s good or bad. But rather the choice of consumption should be with its citizens. It’s a sign of maturity.

    One thing that pisses me off with religious zealots is that they want this right taken away. But who gives them the right to take it away? Even the Quran just mentions that alcohol is bad. But the Quran does not say no one (including non-Muslims) should be stopped from consuming it. Why? Because if you do, it’s your own sin to handle. Sendiri berdosa, sendiri tanggung la!

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