HOW THEY PROSTITUTE ISLAM FOR POLITICAL GAINS
So, what is the issue here? Is the issue Islam? Is the issue about eradicating sin? Is the issue about not allowing vice in Malay neighbourhoods? Is Umno outraged that beer is being sold in ‘Malay’ Shah Alam? What is really the issue?
Raja Petra Kamarudin
There is a controversy sweeping Selangor state. Well, actually there are many controversies sweeping the state. But this particular controversy I am talking about involves the matter of the confiscation of beer.
As explained by the EXCO Member in charge of local government, Ronnie Liu, the confiscation was a mistake, an error of judgment of sorts, and the beer was ultimately returned to the owner the same day with an apology attached.
Furthermore, explained Ronnie, you need a licence to sell liquor. But beer does not come under the classification of liquor. So you do not need a licence to sell beer and therefore the government can’t confiscate beer even if the premises that is selling it does not have a liquor licence. This is not the law that Pakatan Rakyat made. This is the law that the Barisan Nasional government made.
But Umno is not about to allow the matter to end there. They want to organise a protest demonstration and they demand that PAS join them in this demonstration as proof that the Islamic party is committed to its Islamic agenda. Basically, Umno wants to pressure the Pakatan Rakyat state government into reversing its policy on ‘allowing’ beer to be sold in Selangor and it wants PAS to unite with Umno in propagating this stand.
The impression being created is that Umno is opposed to beer being sold in Selangor. But only today is it opposed to the sale of beer. For 51 years, when Selangor was under Umno, it was not opposed to the sale of beer. It is only opposed to the sale of beer now that it no longer rules the state.
Hasan Ali, the man behind the secret talks with Umno soon after the 8 March 2008 general election, has of course jumped onto the bandwagon in ‘defence’ of Islam. He wants Selangor to ban the sale of liquor and beer in the state, or at least in Malay-majority neighbourhoods or townships like Shah Alam.
That is all well and fine. I am certainly in support of eradicating immoral activities. And I will support not only Muslims but also Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and whatnot to see this happen.
But this is not what is behind the brouhaha. The issue is not about eradicating vice. It is about trying to embarrass the Pakatan Rakyat state government and in the same process create a rift between PAS and its other partners, DAP and PKR.
First of all, how would we define Malay-majority townships? What percentage of the population would have to be Malay before it is classified as Malay-majority neighbourhoods or townships? Malays make up about 51% of the population of Selangor. So would that particular neighbourhood or township have to have at least a 90% population to be classified as Malay-majority? Or is 70% a more realistic percentage since it would be almost impossible to find a township with a 90% Malay-majority population?
TO READ MORE : http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/25592/84/