KUALA LUMPUR: Ibrahim Ali of Perkasa has accused the DAP of trying to portray itself as a champion of the non-Muslims by opposing Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) directive to cancel the Better Beer Festival 2017.
The president of the Malay rights group said DAP was being insolent in criticising DBKL for rejecting the organiser’s application to hold the event after PAS voiced its objection to the alcohol-themed festival.
In a joint statement yesterday, four MPs from DAP and one from PKR called for a review of the decision by the local authority.
The five, namely DAP’s Tan Kok Wai, Teresa Kok, Fong Kui Lun and Lim Lip Eng, as well as PKR’s Tan Kee Kwong, expressed shock at the cancellation of the event and said DBKL had not given any reasons to reject the application for a permit by the organisers, MyBeer Malaysia.
They argued that the festival was not targeted at the Malays but non-Muslim traders and visitors, as well as foreign tourists and accused DBKL of acting like a religious champion. They also said DBKL’s directive was inconsiderate and appeared to be bowing down to political games while ignoring the spirit of muhibah.
MCA central committee member Ti Lian Ker also criticised the decision, saying DBKL must not be seen to be making decisions at its whims and fancies or caving in to pressure from political parties or people with extremist views.
In a Sinar Harian report yesterday, DBKL corporate communications director Khalid Zakaria said the city authority had rejected the organiser’s request for a permit to hold the festival at the Publika Shopping Gallery on Oct 6 and 7.
In a statement, MyBeer Malaysia said it was told by the authorities that the event was “politically sensitive” and therefore could not proceed as scheduled.
Ibrahim said while he acknowledged the need for openness and freedom, Malaysia was a Muslim-majority country and no political party should accuse DBKL of taking unreasonable action for its own political interests.
“DAP wants to show itself to be a champion of the non-Muslims,” he told a press conference at the Perkasa office here, adding that the DAP should not have behaved in the way it did as the excessive consumption of alcohol brought no good to anyone.
“What is the motive of having that beer festival? If there is excessive drinking, many people will be affected as it could cause accidents and fighting.
“DBKL’s decision makes sense and it is strange that DAP should defend the event as though lives were at stake,” he said.
Reports had said the beer festival had been held for five consecutive years, with this year’s expected to feature 250 different craft beers from 43 breweries worldwide including Scotland, Australia, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam.
MyBeer said they had expected 6,000 beer lovers to attend the festival.