Religious Group: Banning Liquor Unconstitutional

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The government should look at regulating the sale of liquor instead of imposing a blanket ban, said the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST).

The group has called upon the government to follow other countries worldwide, which already regulate the sale and consumption of liquor, in response to Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s new by-law coming into effect next October, banning the sale of liquor at sundry and grocery shops, convenience stores, and medicine shops in the Federal Territories.

EPA

The religious group said a blanket ban would be unconstitutional.

“During Covid-19 these businesses are already facing hard times and thus the total ban will make matters worse,” the group said in a press statement.

“To impose such a ban will be unconstitutional because it violates non-Muslim rights under Article 11,” the group said, referring to Article 11 of the federal constitution, guaranteeing freedom of religion, a right that cannot be violated, even during an emergency (Article 150 (6A)).

“These outlets number a few thousand and the owners have said that this total ban is infringing on their rights, is anti-business and victimises them although they are law-abiding and taxpaying business owners,” the group said.

“Some non-Muslim religions, including natives of Sabah and Sarawak, use liquor during cultural and religious ceremonies,” the group said.

However, the group said it supports the ban on drink-driving and restricting the sale of liquor to persons over the age of 18 during certain hours of the day. – TMI