Minister: ‘Timah’ whisky firm agrees to consider changing name, to discuss with shareholders, directors

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Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi addresses members of Parliament in Kuala Lumpur October 26, 2021. — Bernama pic
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi addresses members of Parliament in Kuala Lumpur October 26, 2021. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 28 ― The local company producing whisky under the brand name “Timah” has agreed to consider changing both the name and image of its alcohol product that had attracted controversy recently, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi confirmed today.

The minister said this comes after the government’s recent meeting with the company, Winepak Corporation (M) Sdn Bhd.

“Through the discussion that was held, the company Winepak Corporation (M) Sdn Bhd has requested for one week to discuss with their shareholders and board of directors to change the name and image on the label of the alcoholic product produced by them. This is among the results that were achieved in yesterday’s meeting of the company’s representative with the government,” he said in a statement today.

The minister said he had chaired the meeting that was also attended by Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Idris Ahmad, National Unity Minister Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique, the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry’s secretary-general Datuk Seri Hasnol Zam Zam Ahmad, Energy and Natural Resources Ministry’s deputy secretary-general Abdul Wahid Abu Salim, and Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO) director-general Abdul Haris Lakar.

The minister said representatives from the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia (Jakim), the Home Ministry and the Ministry of International Trade and Industry had also attended the meeting.

“This hybrid meeting was carried out in a harmonious manner with the concept of Keluarga Malaysia to achieve a consensus for the good of the country,” the minister said, referring to the “Malaysian Family” concept that was introduced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

The minister said this meeting was a follow-up to the first meeting on October 25 between Winepak and MyIPO.

The minister said his ministry through MyIPO will improve procedures involving the various relevant ministries and agencies to prevent a repeat of the same issue in the future, further expressing hope for all to show understanding and give the government the chance to find the best solution for all.

Timah, an award-winning Malaysian-made whisky, has a 40 per cent alcohol content and is sold at RM190 per bottle.

Since the liquor company came under fire, it had previously offered an explanation saying that the local word “Timah” means tin and refers to the tin mining era during the British colonial days of Malaya, while the man depicted on the whiskey label was Captain Speedy who was one of the men who introduced whisky culture back then.

The company had said it was due to this history that the name “Timah” was used and that the word’s use was not intended to stir any controversy.

The company had also explained that any interpretation of the name unrelated to Malaysian tin mining is false, and also said the “Timah” whisky is meant to be enjoyed by non-Muslims who are above the legal age for purchasing alcohol.

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