How they prostitute Islam for political gains

So, what is the issue here? Is the issue Islam? Is the issue about eradicating sin? Is the issue about not allowing vice in Malay neighbourhoods? Is Umno outraged that beer is being sold in ‘Malay’ Shah Alam? What is really the issue?


Raja Petra Kamarudin

There is a controversy sweeping Selangor state. Well, actually there are many controversies sweeping the state. But this particular controversy I am talking about involves the matter of the confiscation of beer.

As explained by the EXCO Member in charge of local government, Ronnie Liu, the confiscation was a mistake, an error of judgment of sorts, and the beer was ultimately returned to the owner the same day with an apology attached.

Furthermore, explained Ronnie, you need a licence to sell liquor. But beer does not come under the classification of liquor. So you do not need a licence to sell beer and therefore the government can’t confiscate beer even if the premises that is selling it does not have a liquor licence. This is not the law that Pakatan Rakyat made. This is the law that the Barisan Nasional government made.

But Umno is not about to allow the matter to end there. They want to organise a protest demonstration and they demand that PAS join them in this demonstration as proof that the Islamic party is committed to its Islamic agenda. Basically, Umno wants to pressure the Pakatan Rakyat state government into reversing its policy on ‘allowing’ beer to be sold in Selangor and it wants PAS to unite with Umno in propagating this stand.

The impression being created is that Umno is opposed to beer being sold in Selangor. But only today is it opposed to the sale of beer. For 51 years, when Selangor was under Umno, it was not opposed to the sale of beer. It is only opposed to the sale of beer now that it no longer rules the state.

Hasan Ali, the man behind the secret talks with Umno soon after the 8 March 2008 general election, has of course jumped onto the bandwagon in ‘defence’ of Islam. He wants Selangor to ban the sale of liquor and beer in the state, or at least in Malay-majority neighbourhoods or townships like Shah Alam.

That is all well and fine. I am certainly in support of eradicating immoral activities. And I will support not only Muslims but also Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and whatnot to see this happen.

But this is not what is behind the brouhaha. The issue is not about eradicating vice. It is about trying to embarrass the Pakatan Rakyat state government and in the same process create a rift between PAS and its other partners, DAP and PKR.

First of all, how would we define Malay-majority townships? What percentage of the population would have to be Malay before it is classified as Malay-majority neighbourhoods or townships? Malays make up about 51% of the population of Selangor. So would that particular neighbourhood or township have to have at least a 90% population to be classified as Malay-majority? Or is 70% a more realistic percentage since it would be almost impossible to find a township with a 90% Malay-majority population?

This is something Umno and its Trojan Horse in PAS, Hasan Ali, did not define. So the issue of what constitutes a Malay-majority township is very hazy at this stage. Maybe they should first define this and after that place signboards at the entrance of these townships that say “Malay-majority constituency” so that people would be aware of it.

Anda sekarang berada di dalam kawasan majoriti Melayu”, would probably be what the signboard says. Then the Indians and Chinese could demand the same for their Indian- and Chinese-majority constituencies as well. And with that we can forget the 1Malaysia bullshit because the entire Selangor will have signboards declaring which townships are Malay-majority, Chinese-majority and Indian-majority.

In the classified Indian-majority areas they can then ban the sale of beef since this is taboo to the Indians. I don’t know what we can ban in Chinese-majority areas other than the volume on the mosque PA system to avoid waking up the Chinese from their sleep at 5.30am.

To arbitrary declare that Shah Alam is Malay-majority and therefore the sale of beer should be banned in that township is not good enough. Clear guidelines must be provided so that people would be aware what constitutes a Malay-majority area. Then a law must be passed in Parliament to make it illegal to sell beer in these ‘gazzeted’ Malay-majority areas where the population touches whatever percentage constitutes a Malay-majority area.

Terengganu is by far a Malay-majority state. It has a 98% or more Malay population. But in 1999, when the opposition ruled the state, the PAS President who was also the Menteri Besar of Terengganu, first summoned the non-Muslims for a meeting before imposing a ban on anything that Islam viewed as forbidden.

In the meeting, the representatives from the non-Muslim community said that liquor should not be banned but the state can ban gambling as the non-Muslims considered this a social problem and detrimental to the wellbeing of society.

So gambling was banned in Terengganu but liquor was not. And this was basically what the non-Muslims, not the Muslims, had wanted. Of course, PAS was whacked for banning gambling although this proposal came from the non-Muslims. But liquor was not banned in spite of the fact the Muslims viewed liquor a bigger vice than gambling — ibu kepada semua maksiat.

Kelantan too had banned gambling a decade earlier although liquor can still be found in the state, until today, as can pork. For that matter, pigs could not be slaughtered in Kelantan in the old days when the state was under Umno. When PAS took over Kelantan in 1990 they allowed the slaughter of pigs in the state and no longer did you need to ‘import’ pork from the other states.

This shows that PAS can, if it wished to, look at things in a more rational manner. It is only when one or two personalities try to throw the cat amongst the pigeons when all hell breaks loose. But these people are not doing things in the interest of Islam. They just want to create chaos in the opposition so that Umno can take back Selangor from Pakatan Rakyat.

Okay, let us assume that Umno is sincere about defending Islam. There is another ‘Malay-majority’ neighbourhood in Selangor, Subang. In fact, Subang was developed by a Malay-controlled company, Sime Darby. Sime Darby is Malay through and through.

And one high-powered Umno man linked to Daim Zainuddin owns Holiday Villa in Subang. Holiday Villa not only sells liquor but also has a disco, pub, bar and whatnot where you not only can get drunk but can also pick up women as well. Holiday Villa also has a massage parlour well stocked with women who, for the right price, will drop their panties and give you a good screw.

So, we are talking about more than just liquor here. We are talking about being able to fuck your brains out in a Malay-owned hotel, owned by someone very high up in Umno and linked to Daim plus many other key people in Umno, in an area developed by one of the largest government-linked property companies headed by a whole bunch of Malays.

So, what is the issue here? Is the issue Islam? Is the issue about eradicating sin? Is the issue about not allowing vice in Malay neighbourhoods? Is Umno outraged that beer is being sold in ‘Malay’ Shah Alam? What is really the issue?

The issue is simple, really. It is about trying to create a fight between PAS and its two partners in Pakatan Rakyat. And Islam is being used as the platform in trying to achieve this. They are just prostituting Islam. And that is what Islam has been reduced to, a prostitute in the game of ‘let’s try to take back Selangor like we did Perak’.


Hasan Ali: 'Ripples' will strengthen PR Selangor

Written by Melody Song, The Edge  

Selangor PAS state commissioner Datuk Dr Hasan Ali said there were no tensions within the state Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition over the alcohol issue.

He cited a survey in local Malay-language daily Sinar Harian which revealed that 74% of those polled disagreed that the recent spate of arguments had caused cracks in the coalition.

"PR Selangor will remain intact," he said. "These 'ripples' and minor disturbances will only serve to strengthen our relationship.

"We are all educated grownups and wise enough to differentiate between policy decisions and personal issues," he said when asked if he and fellow state exco member Ronnie Liu faced any tension between them.

Hasan added that he would not be intimidated by threats of disciplinary action to be taken against him for calling for Liu's resignation.

"For the sake of upholding my principles, Islamic laws and related rules, I am prepared to face any action from PR leadership, even if it means being asked to resign from my post as state exco member," he said.

"I don't know why I've been threatened with disciplinary action," Hassan said. "Perhaps (Tony) Pua feels that my 'sin' against the coalition is too great.

"Selangor PAS thinks PR is on the right track when it comes to dealing with issues in the state," he said.

On Friday, Selangor DAP deputy chairman Tony Pua called for PR leadership to set up a disciplinary committee against Hasan for seeking the removal of DAP's Liu as the local government committee chairman.

Liu had allegedly overstepped his boundaries when he asked the Shah Alam City Council to return the 70 cans of beer that were "illegally seized" from a 7-Eleven outlet in Section 8 on July 29.

Hasan said the outlet in question is no longer selling alcohol.

"Yesterday the store manager told me alcohol sales contribute to less than 1% of total daily sales, so they have decided to stop selling the beverages.

"I was told during the Barisan Nasional government's time the residents of Section 8 had already made requests to stop the convenience store from selling beer, but no action was taken.

"They are pleased with Selangor PAS' suggestion," he said.

Hassan added he will lead an expedition tonight with Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (JAIS) to check 7-Eleven outlets in Shah Alam whether Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim's suggestions of self-regulation of the sale of alcohol have paid off.

Khalid announced that as of today 10 7-Eleven outlets in Shah Alam have stopped selling alcoholic beverages. Seven others sell to non-Muslims only by demand as the beverages are no longer in public display. – 12 August 2009