KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 12 — Having a big beer festival is never a Malaysian culture and should not be made a part of it in any way, said Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.
He said the National Culture Policy drafted in 1971 had outlined, among others, that the national culture must be based on the indigenous culture of this region with Islam as an important component in the formulation of it.
“Please understand, don’t think that we banned all this because we are an Islamic country, but it is not our culture, whether we are Malays, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan or Iban to have a big festival for beer,” he said when speaking at the Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relation (IDFR) Cultural Diplomacy Lecture Series.
Mohamed Nazri said, the situation differs for instance, in Germany or Bavaria as those two were beer-drinking countries and the beer producers.
“They can have Octoberfest, because they want to promote their beers, they are beer-drinking countries and producers, it is understandable, but here, we don’t produce beer,” he said.
However, he explained that banning such a festival did not mean that drinking beer was totally disallowed in the country.
“They can drink in the pub, where you can control the crowd in case someone get excited and drunk, but to have a festival where you cannot control the crowd, there might be fights, some people get drunk and they don’t know what they are saying.
“Just like four to five years ago we have this rave party...Malaysians don’t know how to appreciate the public deejay, they went for drugs and eleven people died so that’s why we stopped this beer festival,” he added. — Bernama