KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 13 — The Cabinet has allowed the whisky brand Timah to keep its name.
In a statement today Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong along with Domestic Trade and Cooperatives Minister Alexander Nanta Linggi said the manufacturer will be required to include an additional label on the whisky bottle to explain its name reference to “bijih timah” or in Bahasa Malaysia a term used for iron ores.
“Last Wednesday, I met with Yang Shiwei and Yang Shijiong, representatives of the board of directors of the Timah whisky producer, and their team of lawyers at the Ministry of Transport to understand the ins and outs of the entire incident and the latest position of the company.
“In recent Cabinet meetings, Cabinet members also discussed the latest developments in the Timah incident.
“I am gratified that in the spirit of the ‘Malaysian Family’, the relevant incident has been successfully resolved,” said Wee on his Chinese Facebook page.
He said that Timah does not need to be renamed and the manufacturer has agreed to explain the origin of Timah in detail.
“I thank the Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Datuk Seri Alexander for cooperating with me on this issue so that PH’s tricks of playing with religious and ethnic issues cannot succeed,” he said.
The controversy surrounding the award-winning whisky “Timah” made its way into the Dewan Rakyat on October 28 during the debate session on the Trade Descriptions Bill (Amendment) 2021.
Prior to that on October 18, the PAS Dewan Ulama (DUPP) expressed concern about the use of the name “Timah” as a whisky brand.
Calling for a stop to all promotion and sale of the liquor to the public, DUPP information chief Mohd Nor Hamzah said this was to prevent any negative impact on society, especially young people.
The Malaysian-made whisky, “Timah” is sold at RM190 per bottle and contains 40 per cent alcohol.
The company previously explained that the name “Timah” was a reference to tin mining in colonial Malaya, while the man depicted on the whisky label is Captain Speedy, who is said to have introduced whisky culture to the country.
The company said it was with this historical backdrop in mind that the name “Timah” was used and that it had not intended to stir any controversy.
The company also explained that any interpretation of the name unrelated to Malaysian tin mining is false.