Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Malaysian Malacca Bans Alcohol in Muslim Areas

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia's opposition Islamic party has supported the decision by Malaysia’s southern state of Malacca to ban alcohol sales in Muslim dominant areas, urging a similar ban on Muslim workers involved in alcohol industry as illegal in Islam.

“We congratulate the Malacca state government for enforcing the ban,” Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS) central committee members Nasrudin Hasan, Datuk Khairuddin Aman Razali and Nik Mohamad Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz said in a joint statement quoted by The Rakyat Post on Monday, February 2.

“This indirectly helps individuals involved to gain halal livelihoods. As a Muslim individual, the sale of alcohol is prohibited by law,” the PAS parliamentarians added.

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The new ban, approved by Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron, stipulates that store owners must immediately stop selling alcohol, deemed as haram, or prohibited in Islam.

The decision, applied in local communities in which Muslims make up more than 90 per cent of population, will result in banning from 7-11 stores from selling alcohol.

The PAS leaders have also welcomed Singapore’s move to introduce the Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) Bill and institute an island-wide ban on the public consumption and sale of alcoholic beverages from 10:30pm to 7am.

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“This clearly shows the impact of alcohol on society,” they added.

“Furthermore, alcohol in Malaysia, especially in urban areas, are easily available in convenience stores and no action can be taken.”

Islam takes an uncompromising stand in prohibiting intoxicants.

It forbids Muslims from drinking or even selling alcohol.

The general rule in Islam is that any beverage that get people intoxicated when taken is unlawful, both in small and large quantities, whether it is alcohol, drugs, fermented raisin drink or something else.

Welcoming Malacca’s decision, PAS parliamentarian called for applying a similar ban on alcohol sales nationwide.

“We urge for alcohol-related state government policies to be standardized nationwide,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement cited by the MalayMail Online.

“Furthermore, every effort to free Muslims from the alcohol industry must be supported.”

The ban will help “free” Muslims from being involved in work prohibited by their religion, they added.

Despite of PAS support, other parties like Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) and Gerakan have opposed it.

According to MCA, the new ban would result in ethnic segregation as well as blocking integration among the various ethnicities in the country.

Gerakan Youth reportedly said that the government’s new policy was akin to political interference in commerce, urging the state government to reconsider the ban.

Five years ago, Mosque officials in Selangor, like imams and muezzins, have been authorized to arrest Muslims drinking alcohol in public.

Malaysia has a population of nearly 26 millions, with Malays, mostly Muslims, making up nearly 60%.

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