KUCHING, May 27: Parti Islam Se-Malaysia’s (PAS) call on suspending alcohol sales may seem sincere but it infringes on the rights of others whose culture does not prohibit alcohol consumption, according to Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri James Masing.
“PAS’ (Parti Islam Se-Malaysia’s) suggestion to suspend the sale of alcohol because of drunk driving which had resulted in many fatal road accidents looks honourable at a glance.
“I do appreciate their concern for the safety of our people. However, after reading further into PAS’ suggestion of revoking ‘all sales licences for alcohol beverages in convenience stores’, I doubt the sincerity of PAS’ concern.
“It (the call) infringes on the rights of people of different beliefs and their right to trade items which don’t encroach on their religious tenets and beliefs,” Masing opined in a statement today.
Masing who is also Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president asserted that PAS should not impose its religious tenets on others of different religions.
“PAS must not impose their religious prohibitions on alcohol on those of other religions who have no prohibitions on alcohol.
“Nor should PAS disguise their motives by using other excuses. Malaysia is a multi-religious nation and we must keep it that way,” Masing emphasised.
According to a recent Bernama report, PAS had called on the government to immediately suspend all production, businesses and sales of alcoholic beverages to prevent incidences of drunk driving.
PAS information chief Kamarudzaman Mohamad was reported as saying PAS viewed fatal accidents caused by drunk driving seriously as these cases had become rampant recently.
He urged the Customs Department and all local authorities to revoke all sales licences for alchoholic beverages which were sold openly in 24-hour convenience stores.
Kamarudzaman also claimed that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had named Malaysia as the world’s 10th largest consumer of alcohol. — DayakDaily