What’s in a name? Controversy surrounds Timah whiskey over perceived namesake
Idris Ahmad lodges complaint despite explanation by booze makers
(The Vibes) – The award-winning Malaysian-made Timah whiskey has soured for some as criticisms have been levelled at the brand over its choice of name.
Although its makers have issued an explanation behind the name, it did not stop Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Idris Ahmad from lodging a complaint with the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry and Home Ministry.
In a brief interview with TV AlHijrah on Saturday, he confirmed that reports have been lodged with the two ministries, calling for an investigation.
“We have been consistent. We don’t agree with this,” he was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, PAS Syura Ulamak Council member Datuk Mahfodz Mohamad told The Vibes that alcohol companies should not use product names that could confuse Muslims, adding that “Timah” sounds confusing.
This is in light of the government being unable to ban alcohol consumption because Malaysia has non-Muslims, he said.
“But they shouldn’t use Muslim names in their products that will confuse the Muslim community. I would prefer if names used are not confusing, because it will appear that the product is for Muslims and it’s confusing for the community.”
However, Timah’s makers said the name is the Malay word for tin, which harkens to the tin mining era during British colonial times.
“The man on our bottle, Captain Speedy (British explorer Tristram Charles Sawyer Speedy), was one of the men who introduced whiskey culture back then. We do not intend for our name to stir controversy.
“Any interpretation of our name unrelating to Malaysian tin mining is false. Timah is meant to be enjoyed by non-Muslims above the legal alcohol purchasing age.”
Critics still outraged
Timah detractors have taken to social media, alleging the name is a traditional Muslim one – Fatimah.
Lawyers for Justice movement coordinator S. Raveentharan said in an interview that this should not even be an issue, adding that the critics have nothing better to do.