MCO: Treat all types of beverages, alcoholic or not, fairly — Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall

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APRIL 11 — KLSCAH calls upon the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government to ensure fair and professional planning and implementation of the nationwide movement control order (MCO), based on healthcare and economy considerations, not to be overridden by political or religious agenda.

KLSCAH congratulates the government on the success thus far of the MCO in flattening the curve and is supporting the MCO with our own contribution to hospital, medical frontliners and marginalised groups. We firmly believe that the nation must come together and focus on the fight against the Covid-19 outbreak without unnecessary distraction from any controversial decisions.

KLSCAH is therefore concerned with the government’s revocation of approval for beer producer Heineken and Carlsberg to continue its operation during MCO following condemnation by some politicians of the initial decision, claiming that alcohol beverage was not an essential product.

KLSCAH urges the government to respect its own MCO gazetted on 18 March 2020, PU(A) 91, which in its Schedule — Essential Services [Regulation 2] (attached) lists "food supply" (Item 17) as one of the “essential services” for which minimum production is allowed. There is no subdivision on what is essential and what is not. Essentiality of a good must be assessed by consumers – in the case of beer, the non-Muslims — and not by the non-consumers – the Muslims.

KLSCAH understands and respects the Muslim community’s rejection of alcohol beverage but we appeal to the wisdom of our Muslim brothers and sisters to take note that the consumption of beer does not concern Muslims and respect the non-Muslims’ choice on this matter.

KLSCAH reminds the government that singling out beer as non-essential — while comparables like carbonated soft drink are allowed — is effectively imposing Islamic values on non-Muslim population. This does not sit well with either Islam’s promise of “for you is your religion, and for me is my religion.” (Surah al-Kafirun 109: 6) or Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s televised promise on March 2 that he will be a PM for all Malaysians.

KLSCAH cautions the government that, while allowing beer production may not be popular amongst Muslims, banning it for political expediency is sending the wrong signal to both society and economy when the government and the people should stand together and be fully focused in fighting the outbreak and the recession.

KLSCAH sincerely urges Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the “PM for all Malaysians” and his PN Government to treat all beverages — alcoholic or non-alcoholic alike — equally, allowing them to operate at a minimal level, to eliminate any negative perception that MCO has conveniently become a vehicle of certain political and religious agenda.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.



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