MP says Timah whisky issue dangerous precedent, will make Malaysia laughing stock

The controversy over the name Timah for a Malaysian-made whisky has set a dangerous precedent in the country where mere product names can be said to confuse any segment of the community and thus must be changed, said Dr Kelvin Yii.

(The Borneo Post) – The Bandar Kuching MP warned that things like this will make Malaysia a laughing stock of the international community.

He said the country must not allow itself to give into such extreme rhetoric and allow a “non-issue” like a whisky’s name to be blown out of proportion.

“We are a multiracial and multicultural society as we take pride in moderation. Instead of focusing on name, we should have been focusing on addressing the core issue, which is how to educate the public against the hazards of drinking excessive alcohol,” he said in a statement.

“The government should have put all focus on disseminating this sort of message and educating us all.”

Yii said an issue that is supposed to be a matter on “trade description and trademarks” should not be blown up to provoke religious or racial controversy.

“There are so many other important matters the country is grappling with including the rising prices and how the people are suffering economically on the ground, but instead they chose to give into to such extreme sentiments which is an insult to the intelligence of any sensible man or woman,” he said.

He also expressed his disappointment that Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Dato Sri Alexander Nanta Linggi had said the company involved has agreed to consider changing the name and image on the label of their award-winning product after an engagement with his ministry.

“I am disappointed that the federal government chose to give into extreme rhetoric and sentiments perpetrated by certain quarters especially PAS and Umno over a non-issue of merely a product’s name, when there are so much other things they should be focusing on, including the rising prices of goods and materials right now in our country,” added Yii.