Authorities skirt the issue, saying it is too “sensitive”.
Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz refused to explain the reason behind Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) decision to pull the plug on the ‘Better Beer Festival 2017’ next month while Federal Territories Minister Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor would not even answer the media.
Mohd Amin was approached by the media after attending a key hand-over ceremony for the Seri Aman People’s Housing Project yesterday to comment on the decision.
“No need (to answer anything),” he said.
When pressed on whether the issue was too sensitive to speak as it touched on religious and political grounds, Mohd Amin admitted: “Yeah, sensitive issue. And no, no comment. Just say it’s a sensitive issue.”
Adnan, who was also at the event, waved reporters away when he was asked regarding the cancelled festival.
DBKL was reported to have rejected an application from the organiser following objections from PAS politicians who had claimed the festival would encourage immorality and turn Kuala Lumpur into Asia’s vice capital.
PAS MP Datuk Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali had praised DBKL for its decision, saying it “carried the aspirations of all Malaysians who reject the organisation of any immoral festival that damages the people”.
DAP, PKR and MCA have condemned the decision, FMT news portal reported.
“We regret this incident as a local authority like DBKL is trying to create a diversion by acting like a religious champion.
“Their action is inconsiderate and appears to bow down to political games and ignores the muhibah spirit,” DAP and PKR said in a statement.
Klang MP Charles Santiago said the beer festival ban is a clear sign of creeping Islamisation.
“We have been seeing growing protests from Islamists PAS and other conservative groups against concerts by Western artistes, songs deemed too racy and even Valentine’s Day celebrations.
“Such radical elements are dangerous in a multiracial, multi-religious country such as Malaysia, where the Federal Constitution guarantees civil liberties for all citizens,” Santiago said in a statement.
He criticised the government for choosing politics over the liberties of its citizens.
“As the general election is around the corner, the federal government needs PAS as an ally to garner Malay votes.
“It would do PAS good to look into its own backyard. Kelantan is one of the two top states for viewing porn online.
“The east coast state also has an increasing crime rate and one of the highest cases of AIDS and drug addiction. It also remains the poorest state in the Peninsular,” Santiago said.
Barisan Nasional component MCA warned DBKL that it will encourage radical and extremist pressure if it is inconsistent in upholding their own laws and policies, more so if they have previously approved such events but have now arbitrarily and authoritatively decided otherwise.
“Reasons must be given and sufficient time and notice should be given to the public if there are any changes to regulations or public policy.
“In the name of transparency and public accountability, DBKL must give reasons and time to be fair to the organisers and to be seen to be business- and tourist-friendly.
“IF THE CANCELLATION IS A RESULT OF THE RECENT DEMAND BY PAS, OR DBKL IS CAVING IN TO THEIR EXTREMIST VIEWS, WITHOUT REGARD TO THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS OR THE SILENT MAJORITY, THIS WILL NOT AUGUR WELL WITH THE PLURALISTIC AND MODERATE BARISAN NATIONAL POLICIES THAT OUR PRIME MINISTER NAJIB RAZAK HAS UNDERTAKEN AND ASSURED THE NATION ABOUT LAST WEEKEND,” MCA CENTRAL COMMITTEE MEMBER TI LIAN KER SAID IN A STATEMENT.
Earlier report: Sept 18, No-Go for Beer Festival