Beer raid by council conflicts with federal laws

(Malaysian Mirror) – MCA central committee member Ti Lian Ker said the confiscation of beer in cans and bottles by the Shah Alam City Council is an ultra vires act and ought not to be condoned by the DAP exco member, Ronnie Liu, who is in charge of local government in Selangor.

Ti said there must be consistency in the implementation of the laws and the local authority cannot overrule an express provision of the law at their personal whims and fancies.

Under federal laws, the Excise Act allows beer in bottles and cans to be sold freely and no licence is required.

beers-1.jpgTherefore, Ti said , the local authorities cannot override the federal laws by confiscating beers sold in bottles or cans in any retail outlets on flimsy or racial grounds.

“We cannot allow our laws or implementation thereof to be coloured by race whereby there are different set of laws based on the geography or demography of the local residents. Malaysia is a plural country and the legislations must be uniform.

Do not infringe upon federal laws

“The federal laws have taken into considerations the diverse culture and the plurality of the nation. No local government can disregard or infringe upon the federal laws that expressly outline the rights and liberties of our plural society,” said Ti.

He added that the sundry and retail shops in Malay kampungs have been selling can and bottle beer for ages as a matter of right and as provided by federal laws. There should be no discrimination on 7-Eleven or any other shops selling can and bottle drinks legally.

There is no legal provision that says that 24-hour outlets cannot sell can or bottle beer. There is no law that prohibits any such sales in a Malay majority area.

Ti said that since there are personal laws that forbid Muslims from purchasing these drinks, therefore enforcement should be against the Muslim wrongdoers and not on the retailers.