Beer dispute shows Pakatan has no common ground, says Najib

By Adib Zalkapli, The Malaysian Insider

Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today the disagreement in Pakatan Rakyat (PR) over alcohol sale in Selangor was caused by ideological differences between DAP and PAS.

The Prime Minister said the parties should first resolve their differences in order to govern the state effectively.

“The differences between PAS and DAP are big, and they involve fundamental issues, they need understanding to administer the state,” said Najib at a press conference here.

“They must be able to agree on fundamental issues and this does not exist in Selangor,” he added.

Najib however refused to comment directly on the solution proposed by the state government to have convenience stores to self regulate the sale of alcoholic beverages in Muslim majority areas in Selangor.

“It’s a fundamental difference. Even without the beer issue, there will be other issues,” said Najib.

The controversy started when officers from the Shah Alam City Council seized canned beer from a convenience store located in the Muslim majority area.

The seized beer was later returned to the store after the state executive councillor for local government Ronnie Liu interfered because the seizure was illegal.

Liu’s action angered Selangor PAS, resulting in its chief Datuk Hassan Ali who is also a member of the state administration calling for the removal of the DAP man from the executive council.

Hassan also defended the council’s earlier action of seizing the beer by arguing that it was consistent with Islamic enactments banning consumption of alcohol among Muslims.