Oktoberfest should be declared a national holiday

“Even in Palestine Oktoberfest is celebrated. Therefore, Ismail Sabri should tell us which country banned Oktoberfest and why his government is more concerned about Oktoberfest than corruption.”

(Focus Malaysia) – VETERAN lawmaker Lim Kit Siang said that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob has to answer in Parliament if Datuk Idris Ahmad’s position on Oktoberfest is the Government’s official position.

The Iskandar Puteri MP said that he had given notice to ask the Prime Minister a ministerial question in Parliament tomorrow (Aug 4) on this matter.

In reference to Oktoberfest, Idris, who is the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) said last week that a beer festival that is open to the public should not be allowed in Malaysia.

He told Parliament: “Although non-Muslims are not prohibited from drinking alcohol, the Government is of the opinion that allowing this festival to happen and making it open to the public should not happen as it will cause social problems, as alcohol is seen to affect the harmony, order and safety of the community.”

Lim said that he had, on Monday (Aug 1) accused the Ismail Sabri Government of violating the nation-building principles and policies of the nation’s founding fathers as enunciated in the Malaysian Constitution and Rukun Negara by claiming that it is opposed to Oktoberfest.

“The Ismail Sabri Government owes it to the people to cite when his Cabinet took the decision to officially oppose Oktoberfest,” Lim pointed out.

Accusing Idris of playing dumb to his questions in Parliament on Monday Lim expressed his hopes that Ismail Sabri “will not play truant [and] will personally attend Parliament tomorrow to state his government’s official position on Oktoberfest”.

“Let Ismail Sabri also answer whether he is aware that in the Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2021, Malaysia is ranked 62nd out of 180 countries surveyed – the lowest ranking for Malaysia since the annual TI CPI ranking started in 1995 – but all 61 countries which have better TI CPI than Malaysia allow Octoberfest in their countries, including Muslim countries like United Arab Emirates (ranked 24), Qatar (ranked 31), Saudi Arabia (ranked 55), Oman (ranked 56) and Jordan (ranked 60),” he said.

“Even in Palestine – which is not in the 180 countries surveyed by TI – Oktoberfest is celebrated.

“Therefore, Ismail Sabri should tell us which country banned Oktoberfest and why his government is more concerned about Oktoberfest than corruption.”

While the annual Oktoberfest – touted as the world’s largest beer festival – is held officially in Germany, many countries hold their own versions.

The annual Malaysian-German Society Oktoberfest in Penang will return on Oct 21 and 22 this year and will feature a live band, dancing and games, with German food and beer served.

In the Klang Valley, breweries will have their own Oktoberfest promotions in individual bars.