“We are no Taliban state,” said Guan Eng regarding the Penang Oktoberfest

(MMO) – The 45th Oktoberfest celebration in Penang ran without hiccups last night, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said, after the cancellation of two similar events in the Klang Valley.

According to the Malaysiakini news portal, Lim said the state was not keen on interfering with “Malaysians’ traditional freedom”.

“We are no Taliban state. The fact that Oktoberfest continues, as it has been every year, will rebut the lies of those who claim that either Oktoberfest in Penang is banned or the name has changed, “he was quoted as saying.

“The police have done their job by ensuring that these extremists do not disrupt our way of life,” he added.

Citing the ban of Oktoberfest in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, Lim said his state would not give in to pressure from “unfriendly noises” against the German beer festivals.

“We are here to cherish the spirit of brotherhood and togetherness and I want to thank the Malaysian-German Society for organising this festival in Penang continuously for the last 45 years, the longest in our country’s history,” he was quoted as saying.

“I want to congratulate the joint efforts between Germans and Malaysians working together as a team to continue this annual celebration without fear and to let everyone know there is no place for racial and religious extremism in Penang,” Lim added.

In Selangor, the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) rejected a permit to hold a similar festival in the 1Utama Shopping Complex earlier this month.

Prior to this, the “Better Beer Festival” in Kuala Lumpur was also cancelled by the KL City Hall (DBKL) after the authorities cited security concerns for the decision.