Protest Against Beer and Gay Fests

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Muslim groups say liquor and gay-themed festivals not welcome in Selangor, want them prohibited in public areas and call on the government to enact a law to only permit alcohol consumption in closed areas.

  • NGOs urge the sultan not to allow such festivals to be held in the state
  • Give opposition party members and Selangor state executive members seven days to retract statements supporting such activities and apologise to Muslims in the country
  • DPM says no to planned gay-themed ‘White Party’

A large group of representatives from some 25 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) staged a protest after Friday prayers yesterday in front of the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque in Shah Alam against a beer festival and a gay-themed party.

Among the NGOs were Persatuan Pengguna Islam Malaysia, Pertubuhan Kebajikan Dakwah Islamiah Malaysia, Alif Ba Ta Srikandi Mahsyur, Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia, Gabungan NGO 1Malaysia, Martabat Jalinan Muhibbah Malaysia, Biro Aduan Masyarakat Selangor, Pertubuhan 99 Kebajikan Insan Selangor, Gerakan Biru Bersatu ABATA and Gerakan Team Boss 38.

The group’s spokesman Nor Nazilah Idris said they were worried that the organiser of the Better Beer Festival 2017 would apply for the event to take place in Selangor after Kuala Lumpur City Hall rejected its application to hold the craft beer festival in the federal capital.

“Malaysia is a Muslim-majority country and such events are insensitive and tarnish the image of Islam. We don’t want the organiser or any similar festivals to come to Selangor,” the Selangor Community Complaints Bureau chairman said, The Star Online reported.

She also said they submitted a memorandum to an official at Istana Bukit Kayangan in the morning, urging Sultan Sharafuddin Idris to intervene if there is any proposal to hold the beer event in Selangor and not to allow such festivals to be held in the state.

Nazilah said the sultan, as the head of the Islamic religion in the state, had the authority to prohibit the holding of any activity or programme in the state that did not respect the sensitivities of Muslims.

The beer festival was planned to be held at the Publika Shopping Gallery in Kuala Lumpur on Oct 6 and 7.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun had on Sept 21 revealed that the police had advised the City Hall against allowing the beer festival to be held in Kuala Lumpur for security reasons.

According to Fuzi, police had received information on militants planning on sabotaging the event.

“We also call on the government to enact a law that will only permit alcohol consumption in closed areas. People should be prohibited from drinking alcohol outside or in public areas, including organising festivals.

“Will an event like the Better Beer Festival 2017 do any good for Malaysians? Can the organisers answer this? I’m sure they can’t,” Nazilah was quoted as saying in a New Straits Times (NST) report.

She also wanted opposition party members and Selangor state executive members, including DAP publicity chief Tony Pua, DAP vice-president Teresa Kok and DAP Bukit Bendera Member of Parliament Zairil Khir Johari to retract their statements supporting such activities.

“We will give them seven days to retract their statements and apologise to Muslims in this country. If not, we will not hesitate to hold more protests,” Nazilah said. 

The report also said that Martabat Jalinan Muhibbah Malaysia head Abdul Rani Kulup called on the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) and Islamic Development Department (Jakim) to prohibit liquor and gay festivals.

NST quoted Abdul Rani as saying: “This should not be our culture and practice. Alcohol consumption is the mother of all immoral acts that could lead to other bad habits.

“When you drink alcohol, you will get involved in gambling, sexual activities, become gay…all things that are bad will happen.”

He also said that organisers should refrain from naming the festivals as beer or gay fest that angers people.

Selangor Pas exco member Roslee Yusof said such festivals touched on the Islamic community’s sensitivity.

“We don’t mind non-Muslims drinking alcohol. We respect their rights to drink in their houses or close areas. But to have an open festival like this? This is not our culture,” Roslee said.

It is learnt that the organiser, MyBeer Sdn Bhd, will not be applying to Kuala Lumpur City Hall to reconsider the ban of the event.

It was also reported that Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the Government would not allow a gay-themed party, said to be planned in Kuala Lumpur, to take place. The ‘White Party’ was scheduled to be held on Sept 30.


Related reports:

Sept 20, MCA Accepts Decision to Reject Holding Better Beer Festival

Sept 19, “Sensitive Issue” of Axing Beer Festival

Sep 18, No-Go for Beer Festival