KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 — MCA cried foul today over a directive to ban the sale of alcohol from all Petaling District traditional Chinese medicine shops, labelling it a “racist” move by the Selangor government.
MCA religious harmony bureau chairman Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker added that such a move was hypocritical as the ban did not extend to supermarkets and hypermarkets that sell alcohol in the same vicinity.
“Knowing full well traditional Chinese medical halls operators consist of Chinese family trade which has been passed down for generations, the prohibition is clearly racist as the operators of Chinese medical halls are Chinese, and their clientele are overwhelmingly Chinese and non-Muslims,” Ti said in a statement today.
“The directive is hypocritical and screams of double standards. Why not apply the same liquor sales bar against established hypermarkets and supermarkets located throughout Selangor and which openly retail liquor in their premises?” he asked.
He also questioned if supermarket and hypermarket retailers were in collusion with the local government authorities as such a move would push more customers towards the formers’ establishments.
Local Government, New Village Development, and Legalising of Factories committee chairman Ean Yong Hian Wah told Malay Mail Online, however, that the state government had nothing to do with the decision.
“It’s a decision made by the Alcohol License Committee under the District Office which is chaired by a district officer,” he said when contacted today.
Yong explained that the committee comprises various government officials, including those from the Royal Malaysia Police force and the Customs Department.
“The state doesn’t have a policy to ban alcohol and we didn’t instruct them to make such decision,
“It has already been decided but I know it has received many comments and opposing views and I myself also feel it’s not proper,” he said.
He added that there will be a state assembly meeting next Wednesday to discuss the directive.
In a letter sighted by Malay Mail Online that was sent to traditional Chinese medicine vendors dated March 11, 2015, the Petaling District Alcohol License Committee warned that the sale of non-medicinal forms of alcohol was strictly prohibited in accordance to the committee’s decision dated January 21, 2015.
The letter also stated that if vendors did not abide by the ban, their alcohol licenses would be revoked.