Ex-aide defends Tok Mat in beer ban controversy

Mohamad Hasan’s former special officer, Mohd Shukri Samsudin, speaking at a ceramah last night.

SEREMBAN: A former aide to Mohamad Hasan has defended the ex-menteri besar in the controversy over the sale of alcohol at a golf club here, saying his rivals are bringing up the issue in the Rantau by-election in an attempt to smear his image.

Mohd Shukri Samsudin said Mohamad, unlike his successor, had not banned the sale of beer at the Seremban International Golf Club (SIGC) as he respected the club’s constitution.

“The rules were established way before he was the menteri besar, and he understands the constitution.

“Tok Mat never instructed for alcohol to be sold or served, or encouraged people to drink,” he said, referring to Mohamad.

“The decision was made by the club’s committee. And the drinks were not served in the open or sold to generate income,” he told FMT on the sidelines of a ceramah in Kampung Bega, here.

Last month, SIGC president Aminuddin Harun who is menteri besar of Negeri Sembilan resigned from his post after members voted to overturn the ban on beer sales which he imposed.

The club, which opened in 1952, had served beer until August last year. The ban came into effect after Aminuddin took office.

Members argued that the decision to stop beer sales went against the club’s constitution.

Aminuddin previously said the sale of beer did not take into account local sensitivities as the club is surrounded by mosques and housing estates where the majority of residents are Muslims.

PKR president Anwar Ibrahim recently defended Aminuddin over the ban, saying it is his right as a Muslim who does not want to be associated with alcohol.