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4 Ogo 2009

S'gor PAS: Ban alcohol in Muslim areas

Aug 4, 09 1:57pm

Selangor PAS wants the Pakatan Rakyat state government to implement a blanket ban on the sale of alcohol in all Muslim-majority areas.

Speaking at a press conference in Shah Alam, Selangor PAS commissioner Hassan Ali said the proposed ban will only concern Muslims and not impinge on the right of non-Muslims to consume alcohol.

Asked if the move would be unfair to non-Muslims living in Muslim-majority areas, the PAS leader said they would just have to travel further to get the beverages.

Hasan also called on the state government to switch the portfolio of DAP exco member Ronnie Liu, who has "meddled in Islamic affairs."

He said Liu, who oversees local councils, had misunderstood the ban and therefore overstepped his jurisdiction.

"We are disappointed when certain quarters intervene in our initiatives to control the sale of alcohol among Muslims," he added.

Decision is unanimous

Hasan said Liu had meddled in an incident in Shah Alam on July 30, when he questioned local authorities and the Shah Alam municipal council (MBSA) decision's to seize alcohol put up for sale in Muslim areas.

“Besides, PAS Selangor had also received reports about it and his action disturbed and affected the local authorities' work,” he said.

However, Hasan denied when he was asked whether Liu should be dropped as a state executive councillor.

“No, I don't want him dropped, maybe shift his portfolio. That would, to some extent would mitigate the problems of the past,” he said.

He contended that Liu (right), as an exco member, can interfere in matters of policy under his portfolio but not in its implementation.

Flanked by Selangor information chief Roslan Shahrir and PAS liaison secretary Kamaruddin Osman, Hasan said enforcement should be streamlined with the Syariah Criminal Enactment (Selangor) 1995.

The enactment, enforced by Selangor Religious Department (JAIS), can now be implemented by the local authorities such MBSA although guidelines have yet to be approved by the state government.

“It has been decided at the MBSA full board meeting that the selling of alcohol in Muslim areas should not be happening, and the decision is unanimous,” said Hasan.

However, this does not necessarily mean that the MBSA board is disobeying the state government.

“It means, it can act on whatever it has decided. The guidelines have been passed and unless the state government steps in and amends it it should be adhered to,” said Hasan.

Non-muslims rights intact

Hasan stressed that the non-Muslims are not are not bound by the local authorities' ban on alcohol.

“We are not stopping them (non-Muslims) from drinking. We are only stopping Muslims,” he said.

Hasan said the non-Muslims can consume alcohol outside the banned areas. “In Shah Alam, there are many outlets selling alcohol several kilometres from one another. So there is no problem,” he said.

Although Muslims could travel outside banned areas to get alcohol, Hasan said a guideline on it will be included in the draft which will be approved by the state government soon.
In an immediate reaction, Liu while refusing to comment on the matter of his portfolio, said the MBSA officer involved in the alcohol seizure in Shah Alam was an Umno member.
He claimed the officer could be politically motivated when he issued the directive despite being aware that the state government had approved the sale of alcohol in convenient stores until such time it came out with a guideline to prevent Muslims and minors from consuming it.

Liu also said no full board meeting was ever held to approve the ban on alcohol by local authorities.

“There was no such meeting which unanimously imposed a ban on alcohol in Muslim majority areas in Shah Alam as claimed by Hasan,” said Liu.

According to Shah Alam Mayor Mazalan Mohd Noor who was with Liu, the full board meeting referred to by Hasan were “merely discussions”.

Mazalan stressed that Liu had acted within his powers when he asked the enforcement officers regarding the seizure of alcohol.

Mazalan also said the local authority did not have the jurisdiction to seize alcohol from convenience stores unless they are found selling it to Muslims and minors.

sumber - malaysiakini

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