JOHOR BARU, Nov 25 — Johor MIC has today defended the Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) planned ban on the sale of liquor in grocery and convenience stores the country’s capital, claiming that the move will not violate the rights of non-Muslims.
Its information chief Deva Sangaran also said that Johor should follow suit, and be the first state after the Federal Territory to take such restrictions.
“Through Johor MIC, I have also raised the same issue by sending a memorandum to the state and federal governments to ban the sale of liquor and cheap alcohol at premises since 2015.
“Johor should be the first state to implement the ban, including those sold in Chinese medical shops,” said Deva in a statement issued here
Deva claimed the move is to restructure the sale of alcohol, which includes cheap liquor, in a more effectivel and controlled manner.
“The public should not dispute the decision,” he said.
“I would like to remind those who conspired in the name freedom to stop being selfish and to stop profitting by sacrificing the safety, health and interests of the people.”
He was responding to the earlier statements made by Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai and National Patriots Association (Patriot) president Brig Gen (Rtd) Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji, stating that the ban restricts the freedom and violates the right of non-Muslims to eat and drink.
Both Kok, who is also the Federal Territory DAP chief, and Mohamed Arshad disputed the decision after the DBKL made the final decision not to allow grocery stores to sell alcohol from October next year.
DBKL’s decision, announced on Tuesday, is set to come into force on October 1 next year. The ban also applies to traditional Chinese medicine halls or herbalist stores, with an exemption on pure or mixed liquor products which are used and sold for medicinal purposes.
Deputy Religious Affairs Minister Ahmad Marzuk Shaary’s remarks also saw him defending DBKL’s decision by citing the positive feedback from civil society, including Muslims and non-Muslims, on implementing the ban.