Home Web Specials No cheer as government buckles in Timah furore

No cheer as government buckles in Timah furore

The Timah distillers might as well pack up and go elsewhere – like what Grab did.

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Deputy Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Rosol Wahid put it very succinctly that “no matter what it is called, it is unimportant” when talking about the furore created by some bigots and racists around Timah the whisky.

He agreed with Azalina Othman, the prime minister’s advisor on law and human rights, who said there is an important need to educate the public to think more logically, after the issue was turned into one about “a drinkable Malay lady”!

The bigots seem to have a great power of imagination but are sadly lacking in rationality, reason or logic.

Rosol added, correctly, that if this kind of furore (or feigned furore, really) over non-issues is not stopped, there would be no end to the trend. He could not be more correct on this.

At the same time, the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, together with other ministries and agencies, had a meeting with the manufacturers of Timah and told Malaysians that the company had agreed to change the name and picture on the label.

So, after the holier-than-thou crowd had created a lot of smoke where there was no fire in the first place, the government and its agencies subtly arm-twisted the company to ‘agree’ to rename their product.

We do not have to mention the consequences of not complying, as everyone knows what will happen. So, the government takes a euphemistic approach to inform the public that it was the company’s ‘voluntary’ decision!

What do Rosol and Azalina have to say now over this decision? The government is seen to be doing exactly what Rosol said it should not do and has set a precedent.

I have a few pertinent questions here.

For example, will parents need to get government approval when naming their newborn children, so that no ‘sensitive’ names are given to any non-Muslim children even if they do it unwittingly?

It would be understandable if there was substance in the complaints. But there is none. It was all a case of empty barrels making a lot of noise. I would recommend that these bigots listen to people who have a very good knowledge of Islam commenting on the Timah issue.

Now the Timah distillers might as well pack up and go elsewhere – like what Grab did.

How is it that the religiously ‘sensitive’ people are not sensitive to all the truly unIslamic goings-on like corruption, crime, drug abuse and trafficking, baby dumping, and stealing from public coffers as reported in the auditor general’s reports?

How is it that these pious people have not been able to enforce the 1996 Malaysian fatwa that smoking is haram? Doesn’t this make a mockery of the fatwa and those who were behind it?

So sorry for you, Timah! – FMT

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
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