Citing annual beer fest, PAS warns of KL seen as Asia's vice hub

PAS has labelled the Better Beer Festival 2017 to be held in Kuala Lumpur next month in celebration of craft beers (pic) as a 'vice festival.' — TODAY pic
PAS has labelled the Better Beer Festival 2017 to be held in Kuala Lumpur next month in celebration of craft beers (pic) as a 'vice festival.' — TODAY pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 10 — PAS today called an annual craft beer festival here next month a "vice festival," warning that Kuala Lumpur could become known as Asia's vice centre if such programmes carry on unobstructed.

PAS central committee member Dr Riduan Mohd Nor claimed that news about Better Beer Festival 2017 was shocking and inciting Muslims' anger, further alleging that Muslims would not be able to stay silent with such an event being held in Kuala Lumpur.

"It is something that is shameful for an Islamic country like Malaysia, when mungkar (treacherous) programmes can easily gain a place in the society's heart and it is allowed to be organised without obstruction.

"We can't bear it if Kuala Lumpur is known by the world as the biggest centre of vice in Asia," he said in a statement on PAS mouthpiece HarakahDaily today.

He said it was regretful that the organisers had picked Malaysia for its beer festival despite them purportedly saying that it was an activity for non-Muslims that is also intended to promote tourism.

"Although Muslims are not the target for participation, but there is no limit or obstructions if there are Muslims who join, simultaneously inviting anyone to attend including Muslims," he claimed.

"If this event in 2017 is successfully organised, it is not impossible that activities that are even bigger in scale would be held in years to come. What is the guarantee of safety that can be given to the public who are not involved, such as crime, free sex, rape and so on," he said, despite acknowledging the beer festival's collaboration with ride-share firm Uber for a "Don't Drink and Drive" campaign to ferry participants home.

He said Muslims could only voice strong objection against the Better Beer Festival to ensure it is not held in Kuala Lumpur.

"The hatred of the majority community towards vice activities should also be given attention and celebrated, not only celebrate the desires of some humans that worship their desires," he said, further warning that there could be "extremist" actions when society is unable to accept the "treachery" and feel under pressure..

According to the Better Beer Festival's website, it is organised by Malaysia's largest craft beer distributor MyBeer from October 6 to October 7 in Publika.

The festival is in its 6th edition with 43 independent breweries across 12 countries expected to showcase 250 different craft beers with food and live music performance also expected.

Local daily The Star reported that the festival was started in 2012 as a celebration of craft beer in Malaysia and had about 200 participants at the Taps Beer Bar in Kuala Lumpur. The festival reportedly had 3,500 participants last year and is expected to attract 6,000 people this year.