Media Statement by Tony Pua in Petaling Jaya on Tuesday, 4th August 2009:
Selangor Exco Dr Hassan Ali should stop acting like he's an UMNO Menteri Besar, and start acting like he's part of Pakatan Rakyat which upholds the rule of law
Dr Hassan Ali's open rebuke of fellow state executive councillor, Ronnie Liu who is in-charge of local government is not only uncalled for by going against the spirit of Pakatan Rakyat, he is openly tresspassing the rule of law both in Selangor and in Malaysia.
As a member of the Pakatan Rakyat state government under the leadership of Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, Dr Hassan Ali should resolve this matter with fellow executive councillors during the state Exco or Pakatan Rakyat meetings. Any decision arrived at during these meetings, based on the principles of justice, accountability and transparency should be adhered to in the spirit of a coalition government. No attempt shall be made to unilaterally impose one's views in the state government's policies.
What is worst and totally unjustifiable is that Dr Hassan Ali has openly rebuked Ronnie for carrying out his duties and responsibilities diligently.
But in doing so, Dr Hassan Ali has essentially called for the laws of Malaysia to be trampled upon indiscriminately.
Firstly, there are no laws in Malaysia that prevents vendors from selling alcoholic drinks. Hence any raid and confiscation of liquor from stores is illegal, assuming of course that all necessary taxes and duties have been paid for.
Secondly, the local councils are not empowered to raid such stores to enforce laws which doesn't exist or to act on behalf of any Islamic enactments in the state.
Local councils conducting such raids will only lead to the state government being sued for breaching the laws of the land, resulting in unnecessary compensation to the aggrieved parties. Hence any decision to return the illegally seized goods to their respective owners is absolutely correct and must be upheld.
In issuing this statement, we are not promoting the consumption of alcholic drinks nor are we going against the Islamic enactment which prohibits Muslims from such consumption. Instead we seek to protect the rights of the Malaysian minorities and seek reasonable measures to be implemented to achieve the objective of all parties and such reasonableness cannot be achieved via indiscriminate raids and blanket bans.
* Tony Pua Kiam Wee, DAP Publicity Secretary & MP for Petaling Jaya Utara