PAS baffled with Chun Wai’s lopsided comment on Kedah’s proposal to control alcohol sale

PAS mouthpiece HarakahDaily has taken a swipe at former The Star editor-in-chief Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai for attacking the Kedah state government’s move to control the sale of alcohol in the state.

Reiterating that the move was only intended to “control as opposed to prohibit” the sale of beer and liquor, PAS Selangor’s communication secretary Roslan Shahir Mohd Shahir described as “out of place” for Wong to compare Kedah with Dubai kicking off the New Year by scrapping a 30% tax on alcohol sales and making liquor licences free.

Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai

This is in an apparent move to bolster status of the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) capital as the Middle East’s leading business and tourism hub amid increasing competition from Persian Gulf neighbours such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

“Dubai did so, he said, to attract tourists to the country. Wong, however, did not comment that even in Dubai, the sale of alcohol is only for non-Muslims. This means that it (alcohol sales) is also ‘controlled’,” explained Roslan in a HarakahDaily commentary.

“But why must Wong regard the steps taken by the Kedah state government as seemingly hard and iron fist in nature?”

In his column entitled “When The Iron Fist Grips Too Hard” today (Jan 4), Wong who is now the Star Media Group Bhd advisor has delved on a recent report about the PAS-led Kedah state government suggesting that the sale of alcohol would be controlled in Langkawi. This comes after the state government ordered the closure of gaming outlets in Kedah.

Roslan Shahir Mohd Shahir

“It is not an outright directive to ban alcohol yet, but it is enough to frighten off hoteliers, who fear that it will kill the tourism industry as well as the many duty-free outlets run by Malaysians,” suggested the veteran journalist.

“Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor had reportedly made the suggestion last November, saying the state government would restrict the sale of alcohol in public including at duty-free shops as well as in rural areas on the mainland.”

Commenting on Wong’s critic, Roslan went on to define “controlling as not banning but allowing sales but with conditions as practiced for decades in East Coast states without issue”.

“Is it wrong for the state government that is mandated by the people to carry out policies in line with the will of the people who elected them?” he asked. “Is it wrong for Muslim leaders to want to defend the rights of Muslims under their administration but at the same time give conditional concessions to non-Muslims?”

According to Roslan, many quarters are unhappy with the ‘Green Wave’ outbreak which represents voices of the majority of Muslim Malays and continue to attack it.

“Argue and express your views in a civilised manner by respecting the voice of the crowd. Don’t bicker or incite hatred while insulting the voice of the majority,” he advised. “Living in Malaysia, let’s together respect each other instead of using one’s position to spread slander and fuel the fire of hatred.” – Jan 4, 2023



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