PAS MP stands by controversial comments on alcohol consumption

“I stand by what I said that all religions forbid the consumption of alcohol.”

(FMT) – The PAS MP who sparked a controversy on the consumption of alcohol today said he stood by his views, citing several verses from the Bible to back his argument.

“I stand by what I said that all religions forbid the consumption of alcohol.

“Thus, I beseech those who distorted my explanation in the Dewan Rakyat to return to the right path and give their support to YB Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong in his fervent campaign against drink driving,” said Pasir Puteh MP Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh in a statement today.

In a Dewan Rakyat debate on proposed higher penalties for drink driving last week, Zawawi had said that biblical injunctions about drinking alcohol had been “distorted or altered” — leading to rebuke from Christian associations and politicians.

Breaking his silence on the matter, Zawawi said it was his “noble intention” to highlight that all religions forbid the consumption of alcohol, and therefore saw no need to apologise to Christians for his comments.

Zawawi said it would be “a sin unto Christianity” for those who say that Christians were allowed to consume alcohol, as it would lead to drunkenness.

However, he did not deny that there are mentions in the Bible of alcohol being used for medicinal purposes.

Zawawi said he has deep respect for Christians and has read both the Old and New Testaments in the Bible.

Stating that the Old Testament “explicitly” stated that alcohol is forbidden, he said there are 75 scripture warnings in the Bible against drinking alcohol – going on to provide two examples from the New International Version (NIV) translation;

“Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise” he said, quoting the book of Proverbs chapter 20, verse 1.

The other passage he shared reads as follows: “Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper” (Proverbs 23:31).

Stating that Muslims also believe in Prophet Isa (Jesus), Zawawi said Muslims are also required to believe in the original scripture which was revealed to Prophet Isa (Jesus).

“Even though I questioned if the Bible was changed from the original scripture that was revealed to him, I say it as a Muslim who believes in Prophet Isa (Jesus),” he said.

“Thus, I see no need to apologise to Christians as some quarters have asked me to.

“We as Muslims are very clear that we should believe in all the divine scriptures revealed to the Prophets before Prophet Muhammad.

“May the Christians too take it upon themselves to believe in these divine scriptures as well as the Holy Quran.”

Stating that he does not intend to insult anyone or any religion, Zawawi called on those who continue to insist on an apology to meet him, have a cup of tea and discuss the issue amicably, so as to understand one another better.