Timah Is A Symptom Of Our Sickness

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By Multatuli Murtadi

Multatuli wants to know what comes next, after whisky. Will our leaders make Malaysia a dry state? While at it, why not ban gambling? But our government has no qualms about taking “haram” money from the proceeds of gambling and sale of alcohol.

The Timah controversy is not about the name of a whiskey.

It is about a gang of racists and religious zealots imposing their values on the rest of us.

It is not about Malay sensitivity. 

Timah is not about an Arabic name which has never been shortened anywhere in the Arab world and would never be associated with the daughter of Prophet Mohammed (pubs).

It is definitely not about confusing the Malays. We are not that dumb.

It’s simply about some politicians and religious extremists claiming to represent All Malays (which they do not), imposing their version of Islam on everyone else – including the tolerant and liberal Malays.

Whiskey is a haram drink which the kaffirs consume.

What has it got to do with us?

The law allows it; if their religions allow it, who are we to interfere? Ultimately it’s about the erosion of the legitimate rights of our non-Malay citizens.

Rumours that the company (distillers of Timah) has agreed to change the name is very disheartening. This is another case of giving in to the bullies, when we should be standing up to them.

The directors of the company should consider the following:

1. The name has the approval of the authorities.

2. The award was given to a whiskey named Timah – not whiskey A or B. There is a monetary value to the name which could be worth millions. What about the money spent in promoting the brand?

The directors have a fiduciary duty to the shareholders. Will the government compensate the company even if they ultimately agree to change the name?

3. The company has a duty to the wider community not to give in to this gangster behaviour. To do so would be to drive another nail in the coffin of our multiracial, multicultural, tolerant society. 

Malaysia was founded on the principle of “live and let live” of which our first prime minister and his cabinet were champions of; and which was the glue that kept us together the early years.

It may seem curious that I should be speaking up for a haram drink. In this case I am not the only one and we are not championing drinking.

We are fighting for the legitimate right of other Malaysians to live their lives as they wish which in no way intrude into our space.

If you like, we are fighting for the good name of Islam as a tolerant and fair religion. We are fighting the munafiks who insist on dragging Islam through the mud by portraying it as an austere and unjust religion.

By the same token, the decision by DBKL to ban the sale of alcohol by kedai runcit and kedai ubat cina (something they have done since before 1957) is tantamount to a restriction of trade. 

If it is a case of excessive drinking leading to drunkeness and public nuisance and disorder, police statistics do not show it. 

If it is to stop Muslims from being tempted then surely this is a problem for the individual to deal with and for the imam to counsel.

Just because one is indisciplined you cannot punish others. This brings to mind the blanket ban on the opening of eateries during Ramadan. Do not our non Malay citizens have to eat?

Surely the true test of our faith is not to remove all temptations (which is impossible) but to stay true to our beliefs in the face of temptations.

So what next? Make Malaysia a dry state? While at it, why not ban gambling? But our government has no qualms about taking “haram” money from the proceeds of gambling and sale of alcohol.

Since after Tunku’s premiership, we have been overtly and insidiously eroding the rights of our non-Malay citizens. The creeping Malay-isation which discriminates against the others at every turn – religion, business, jobs, education. The latest budget is a clear example of this. 97% of the money goes to the Malays and only 3% to the others. Out of this 97% how much of this goes to the poor Malays?

The Koran does not teach us to discriminate, to be unfair yet these munafiks have no qualms in quoting the holy book to justify their actions (refer Haji’s defence of corruption). These actions bring shame to our race and religion.

No country where there is a Christian majority has ever imposed Christian values on their Muslim citizens. They have never in any way hindered the practise of Islam (or any other religion) like what we have done in Malaysia to our non-Malay citizens.  We should be ashamed of ourselves.

Will Timah be the last straw? Will sensible Malaysians draw the red line? Will this insidious erosion of the rights of our fellow Malaysians continue?

We have a Sickness worse than Covid 19 which will kill the country if we don’t change course.

(The views expressed are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Rebuilding Malaysia.)

By Multatuli Murtadi, Kelantan

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