PAS Kelantan State Government should rescind the ban of liquor sale by  Tanah Merah district council and issue a similar  directive to all local councils in the state


Media Statement
by Lim Kit Siang
 

(Petaling Jaya,  Friday): PAS Kelantan State Government should rescind the ban of liquor sale by the Tanah Merah district council ordering coffee shops and restaurants to stop selling alcoholic drinks, including beer and stout and issue a similar directive to all local councils in the state.

It has been reported that the directive, contained in a letter dated August 8 and signed by council secretary Ruslan Hassan was hand-delivered to several Chinese-owned coffeeshops and restaurants in the district, giving them a grace period of 15 days to clear their stocks.

Although the Kelantan Local Government and Public Administration Committee chairman Takiyuddin Hassan has said that he did not know about any move by the state government to curb alcohol sales and would seek clarification from the council before commenting, and it has still to be established whether the Tanah Merah district council ban on liquor sale is an unilateral council decision violating the policy  of the State government, the unavoidable fact is that it had brought to the fore the question uppermost in many Malaysians minds as to  whether the PAS concept of an Islamic state is compatible with social tolerance in a plural society like Malaysia with the diversity of races, religions, cultures, customs and ways of life.

The latest controversy over the Tanah Merah council ban on liquor sale will reinforce the conviction of those who hold that PASí concept of an Islamic state is not compatible with parliamentary democracy, power-sharing in a plural society, human rights, individual freedoms, womenís rights and social tolerance.

(10/8/2001)



*Lim Kit Siang - DAP National Chairman