MCA reminds PAS: Syariah laws not for non-Muslims

(Malaysian Mirror) – While PAS and the DAP are drifting apart over the booze issue, the largely Chinese-based party in the Pakatan Rakyat  alliance has found an ally among the Barisan Nasional parties which supports its stand on the matter.

MCA central committee member Ti Lian Kar, reminding PAS that it cannot enforce Syariah laws on non-Muslims, said:  “Non-Muslims have their civil and criminal laws and we can buy and sell beer without restrictions.”

Ti was reacting to recent arguments by Selangor PAS chief Dr Hassan Ali that there was no need to sell beer in convenience stores located in Muslim-majority neighbourhoods since non-Muslims could buy the booze at other places outside such areas.

Enforcement and apology

Dr Hassan was responding to the directive made last Thursday by state Local Government, Research and Development committee chairman Ronnie Liu for enforcers of the Shah Alam City Council to return 70 cans of beer which they had earlier confiscated from a 7-11 outlet in Section 8, Shah Alam.

On top of that, Liu had ordered the enforcement officers to apologise to the owner of the store.

Dr Hassan alleged Liu was interfering in the enforcement work of the city council. This was followed by a series of calls from PAS for Liu to be stripped of his local government portfolio and a nationwide campaign has since started to protest against Liu’s action.

However, a planned demonstration in Shah Alam fizzled out on Friday and the party’s national leadership said they were leaving the matter to just be settled at the state level.

'Rule of law, not sentiments'

Ti, who heads his party’s NGO liaison bureau, said Dr Hassan, under the ruse of safeguarding Muslim sentiments, cannot extend the provisions of the Syariah enactment to non-Muslims.

“We are ruled by law and not by sentiments of race or religion,” he said, adding that Dr Hassan had, to the extent, discarded the existence of the DAP as its political partner.

Further, Ti asked: “How can we trust PAS to rule the nation and be fair to non-Muslims? How can the DAP assure the community into voting for PAS?”

The way of Kelantan and Terengganu

Meanwhile, PAS secretary-general Mustafa Ali has suggested that the Selangor government could come out with guidelines regarding the sales of liquor similar to that enforced in Kelantan and Terengganu.

In general, the two east coast states prohibited the open sale of liquor in Muslim-majority neighbourhoods.

 "The policy has been implemented in Kelantan and Terengganu but we do not know what the policy is in Selangor," he told reporters, here.