Now, we can’t even have our pints in peace by R NADESWARAN
Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Malaysiakini : COMMENT
| Metaphorically speaking, should we say, “Lock the doors, the lunatics
are at the gates” or should we say, “The lunatics have taken over the
asylum?” Either way, we are staring down the barrel of a gun in the
Yet again, the voices of a few have taken precedence over the rights
of the majority and the state seems to be abetting such gross
transgressions. First, it was anything that resembled a cross, then
Valentine’s Day celebrations followed by Christmas greetings, and as the
days progressed, it was statues and figurines which “confused” the
people. And the latest was separate drinking cups in schools. Now, we
can’t even have our pints in peace.
Arguing that the consumption of alcohol is not an Eastern culture,
PAS information chief Nasrudin Hassan called, and succeeded, in getting
the application for a licence for the Better Beer Festival 2017 revoked. Nasrudin did not elaborate on how consuming alcohol was not an
Eastern culture, but went on to say that Islam had firm teachings about
the consumption of alcohol.
PAS central committee member Riduan Mohd Nor (photo)
described it as a “pesta maksiat” (vice party) and claiming that it
would turn Kuala Lumpur into the “largest vice centre in Asia”. On Monday, the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) became the latest
government agency to join this charade, endorsing this preposterous
claim and cancelled the licence for the festival which was scheduled
over two days next month.
Citing “political sensitivities” – whatever that means – the
application for a licence for the event was cancelled. It is
understandable if an event is cancelled for security or safety reasons,
but since when has “political sensitivities” been central to deciding
the licensing of events? With the herd mentality, the voices (and the success) of the duo will soon reverberate across the country.
The pontification of moderation in a multi-racial and multi-religious
society is all humbug. Our leaders suddenly lost their voices and
continue to be grazing in the wilderness, pretending it does not exist
or not worth attending to. For them, taking a stand against such
outlandish views is a political time bomb, especially with the general
election on the horizon. The DAP has gone to town with this undermining of the individual’s
right of choice. Among others, former law minister Zaid Ibrahim (photo) chastised those who had backed the cancellation of the event.
“Those who objected to this festival are from the same group. They
don’t want festival, entertainment or singing. But they are okay with
two or three wives, the younger, the better,” said Zaid. “Can MCA do something? Hasn’t MCA succeeded in turning BN into a moderate coalition,” he asked in a Facebook posting.
Instead of slamming DBKL for its callousness and being in cohorts
with the perpetrators of this decision, the MCA asked City Hall to be
“consistent and accountable.” In wanting to be politically correct, its religious harmony bureau
chief Ti Lian Ker, said: “They cannot arbitrarily reject the application
and threaten to take action against the organiser without giving a
proper account or reasons for the rejection.”
‘Pesta maksiat’ at home
Let’s give the PAS duo, or for that matter anyone, their right to
propagate their religion and its teachings. But to impose their values
and beliefs on other Malaysians is unacceptable. In four of the past five years, similar beer festivals were held and
never has the city turned into a vice centre and neither has Kuala
Lumpur been dubbed the sin capital of Asia.
Drinking beer or any other beverage is a personal choice. No one is
putting a gun to the head of another and compelling him to attend the
beer festival. Neither will anyone consume what he does not want or what
his religion propagates. Being a lesser mortal, even if he does, he is
answerable to his Maker – not to a bunch of human beings and their
blinkered views on religious teachings.
The hypocrisy of these politicians knows no bounds. While they thump
their chests and talk of ‘pesta maksiat’ and the lot, would they look at
even the darker side of our society – incest? Here are some facts for Nasrudin and Riduan to chew on: Between 2010
and May 2017, 13,272 children were reported having been raped, according
to police statistics. Between 2014 and 2016, 11.8 percent of all sexual
offences against children were cases of incest. Of that, 50.7 percent
of cases reported pointed toward a father or stepfather as the
So, leave us alone. We have a few beers; have a good yarn, followed
by a good laugh. Then we jump into a Uber or Grab Car and head home. We
are not noisy; we don’t wake up our neighbours, and we have a good
night’s sleep and get up in the morning and go to work. Nasrudin and Riduan should be looking at the pious types who don’t
drink beer, who say their daily prayers, and prey on their daughters.
They, not us, have a ‘pesta maksiat’ over months, sometimes years. The
court records attest to this.
R NADESWARAN is aghast that a small group of zealots with the support
of the state are preventing us from enjoying a tipple or two at our own
expense. Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org.