Timah controversy: Pakatan started the polemic using racial sentiments, Najib claims

(Focus Malaysia) – Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak accused Pakatan Harapan of starting the controversy on whiskey brand Timah, using race and religion as bait.

“The one that started the polemic was Pakatan’s coalition partner, Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah). Its leaders used various platforms to criticise the Government for it.

“Oddly, the party which criticised the Government for the whiskey maker’s decision to change its name was DAP, another Pakatan party. They started the problem and now lashing at the whiskey maker for attempting to cool the temperature,” he said, in a Facebook post.

The whiskey brand had evoked much sentiment after right-wing movements accused its maker, Winepak, of being insensitive to the Malays and Muslims.

Even PAS was initially divided over the matter. While its deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tun Man reminded the public that Timah meant iron ore in Malay, its supremo Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said it was offensive to name an alcoholic beverage using the national language.

PKR MP Rusnah Aluai also joined in and castigated the whiskey maker for it, adding those drinking Timah was equivalent of “drinking a Malay woman”.

However, Rusnah apologised for her remarks saying her speech at the Dewan Rakyat was misconstrued.

Non-Malays got hoodwinked by Pakatan

After much issue, Winepak announced that it would rebrand and change the name of the whiskey, after consulting its shareholders and board of directors.

Touching on the matter, Najib said that Timah was registered in August 2019, during Pakatan’s administration.

However, Winepak got its final approval in June last year, during the Perikatan Nasional administration.

“Now, the non-Malays who got angry and carried away with the polemics are also supportive of Pakatan.

“That is what the opposition is all about. They use racial and religious issues to get people’s votes,” the Pekan MP claimed.