We call on the Selangor Menteri Besar to rescind his directive of removing all advertisements on alcohol within three months

Dr Tan Seng Giaw

(Kuala Lumpur, Tuesday):  Since Dr Khir becomes the Menteri Besar, he has written articles in newspapers with basis, such as the need to learn English and to seek knowledge. We encourage him to do more.

Then, yesterday he drops a bombshell, banning advertisements on alcoholic drinks. On the surface, this may please some Muslims. In fact, it is more than what meets the eyes. Has he a political motive?

We would like to stress that we do not encourage excessive drinking or alcoholism that is very bad for human bodies. But, hitherto, there are evidence that a little alcohol does some good to the bodies. If Khir can produce evidence showing that suitable amount of alcohol does harm to human bodies, then his announcement is reasonable.

If Khir launches a campaign against alcoholism, then the people will say that he is not immune to reasons. Will he reconsider his stand?

We hope that the Menteri Besar respects that Malaysia is a multiracial and multi-religious country and Selangor has about 50% Muslims and 50% Non-Muslims. He should not pander to the feeling of a few Muslims by banning advertisements on alcoholic drinks. Now, he bans this type of advertisements? What next? Ban the selling of pork? Ban people wearing shorts and short-sleeved shirts?

Islam forbids alcohol. All other religions are against alcoholism. International trade in alcoholic drinks is huge. How does Khir look at it?


* Tan Seng Giaw, DAP National Vice-Chairman and MP for Kepong