For non-Muslims, better beer than bigotry - By DENNIS IGNATIUS, a former Malaysian ambassador
Thursday, September 21, 2017
If only Muslims show as much concern over real issues like corruption , crime, security of the country, spiraling prices, breakdown of institutions.etc etc.. But heck no...they go bug eyed over some fermented hops... It really shows... A case of I can but you can't and if I can't neither can you...
Malaysiakini : COMMENT
| The ruckus over this year’s Better Beer Festival says many things
about the politico-religious establishment in this country – their
narrow-mindedness, their ignorance, their intolerance – but most of all,
it demonstrates why they cannot be trusted to be fair in adjudicating
issues involving non-Muslims.
PAS, the Islamist party dedicated to turning Malaysia into another
extremist state, has strongly objected to the Better Beer Festival and
demanded that it be refused a permit. Apparently, they fear that the
event, which, of course, would not be open to Muslims, could open the
floodgates of hell itself leading to crime, rape, illicit sex and moral
The mufti of Perlis, long a hero of moderates, supported the call for a ban as well. City Hall, unthinking and craven as always, bowed to PAS pressure and denied the organisers permission to hold the event. Cabinet, which subsequently discussed the matter, supported the City
Hall decision, supposedly because they were concerned about security.
How very convenient!
And MCA, which only the day before had protested the infringement of
our constitutional rights, meekly went along with this farce. Of course, no one is surprised; the MCA and the whole bunch of
non-Malay ministers in cabinet have been nothing but mute witnesses to
the erosion of minority rights and freedoms for years.
Non-Muslims, and perhaps much of the rest of the world, can only shake their heads in utter disbelief. How on earth can a mere beer festival cause such tremendous carnage
to the moral fabric of the nation? Where do these Islamists get their
information from? Why do they feel the need to wildly exaggerate
matters, assume the worst, take things to an illogical conclusion and
allow their fetid imaginations to run riot at the expense of others?
People commit crime and engage in “immoral” activities all the time
in all sorts of circumstances, situations and places – in offices, in
sports venues, in universities, in corporations, in the political arena
and even in religious institutions. Are we going to declare all these
places off-limits too because the religious establishment is so
Furthermore, the Better Beer Festival has been an annual event for
quite some time now; thus far there have been no reports of rape,
adultery, crime or illicit sex associated with it. Outside the beer halls, however, it is another story: crime, rampant
corruption, rape, sex with underage girls, not to mention bigotry and
intolerance, are becoming commonplace, committed in large part by more
Instead of working to tackle the serious problems facing the nation,
PAS and the religious establishment are tilting at beer barrels and
demonising the small minority of people who delight in a good brew. If
only they were as greatly exercised about corruption in high places as
they are about adultery, this country would be a far better place. Instead of worrying about what non-Muslims drink, PAS would also be well advised to look at their own sorry record in Kelantan.
And even if it did lead to immorality, what is it to these mullahs
what non-Muslims do or don’t do anyway? If we want to drink and indulge
ourselves without breaking the law, what concern is it to the mullahs
unless, of course, they also feel responsible for our morals. Nobody appointed them as custodians of our morality and we certainly
don’t need them to police our virtue. We can take care of ourselves and
make our own decisions, thank you very much.
Not to be trusted
Whatever it is, the high-handed manner in which they have reacted to
the Better Beer Festival demonstrates once again why non-Muslims can
never trust them to be fair and respectful of the interests of others.
Whenever Islamic issues are discussed, they always argue that
non-Muslims have no right to participate in the discussion or even to
comment on the matter because it does not involve them. We know now that in the end everything they do affects us one way or
another because their ultimate goal is to impose their values, their
thinking, their ways and their rules on us as much as on other Muslims.
They pretend to be respectful of us while scheming to build a theocracy
that is intolerant of the religious, cultural and constitutional rights
is also a reminder that non-Muslims are right to be concerned about the
creeping Islamisation that is being foisted upon the nation because
sooner or later it is going to rub up against our rights, our way of
life. And when it does, we can expect little or no justice from them
particularly when the non-Muslim ministers we have in cabinet are too
spineless to stand up for our rights.
It’s things like this that drive me to find solace in a couple of cans of beer while I still can. Cheers.
DENNIS IGNATIUS, a former Malaysian ambassador, firmly believes that
we should put our trust not in the leadership of politicians but in the
sanctity of great institutions - our secular and democratic
constitution, a democratically-elected parliament, an independent
judiciary, a free press and a government fully accountable to the
people. He blogs here.