DAP slams PAS for suggesting alcohol ban extension
7 Nov 2021
By Farah Salim
KOTA KINABALU: DAP’s Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Foong Hin has criticised PAS Labuan’s suggestion for Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL)'s prohibition of the sale of alcohol in grocery stores, convenience stores, and traditional Chinese medicine halls be extended to Labuan.
Chan denounced PAS “not thinking about its actual consequences to the establishment and development of Labuan's society and economy” before making a decision.
He called upon all cabinet ministers, especially Sabah and Sarawak to speak up against the call.
Labuan has tax-free status and is well known as a tax haven, he added.
"Labuan is a small island that does not particularly have a competitive economy, and that is why the federal government has given it tax-free status in the first place.
“With such status, many people have made investments in duty-free shops on the island and sell alcohol for a living. This made Labuan attractive to tourists.
“PAS does not concerned about the lives of Labuan people. Their statement is akin to destroy Labuan’s economy just to further their personal agenda,” he said in a statement today.
Chan said that Labuan economy had been dying due to the Covid-19 pandemic as the shipping industry took a hit and that call for alcohol ban in Labuan, if implemented, may severely impact its economy, leading to an exodus of people who will redirect their investments elsewhere.
He further questioned why grocery stores, convenience stores, and Chinese medicine stores were banned from the sale of hard liquor, and yet supermarkets and hypermarkets were not restricted.
"Isn't this a further blow to small and medium-sized enterprises and encourage supermarket groups to further monopolize the home drinking market?
“All parties must understand that drinking responsibly is the rights of non-Muslim. While we respect and understand the prohibition of alcohol consumption in Islam, PAS should also respect the right of non-Muslim consuming alcohol responsibly.
“Why must PAS always resort to ‘holier-than-thou’ bullying tactic against non-Muslim? Such aggressive tactic does not cohort with Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s "Keluarga Malaysia" which value inclusiveness.
"To restore Malaysia’s original diversity and tolerance, a strong political will is required, and it is not easy to succumb to extremist demand," he asserted.
Chan also demanded that all rational and moderate ministers in the cabinet must defend the governing principles of "Keluarga Malaysia" and show the courage to defend the foundation of Malaysia as a pluralistic society.
"Especially the cabinet members from Sabah and Sarawak, they must understand the relatively free and open East Malaysia society, and there is no place for conservative and extreme ideas.
“We are about to amend the Malaysian constitution in this parliament sitting to restore the country back to how it was supposed to be as intended by our founding fathers. We can’t allow uncompromising PAS to determine the future of Malaysia!"