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Trouble in Pakatan over alchohol ban in Selangor - malaysiakini

Malaysiakini's report:

Trouble appears to be brewing in the opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat over the move by the Islamic-based PAS to push for an alcohol ban in Selangor.


In the wake of reports that Selangor PAS intended to impose a ban on the sale of alcohol at 7-11 outlets, mini-markets and coffee shops, a DAP parliamentarian warned that it could lead to fissures in the alliance.

beer alcohol banOver the years, DAP had often found itself at loggerheads with PAS over the latter’s theocratic policies and goals.

In 2001, DAP had quit the then opposition front called Barisan Alternatif after crossing swords with PAS over the Islamic state issue.

The news reports were based on a purported draft by PAS-appointed municipal councillors for a motion to ban the sale of alcohol which was to be tabled at the Klang municipal council monthly meeting today. However, the motion was not tabled.

According to the reports, the motion was said to be the latest move after a similar proposal made by Selangor executive councillor Dr Hasan Ali from PAS was rejected during an exco meeting in October.

Remember, it's a joint government

Seeing red over the matter, DAP publicity secretary Tony Pua reminded PAS that Selangor was ruled by a joint government and the Islamic party only controlled eight of the 36 state seats won by Pakatan Rakyat in the March 8 polls.

"Therefore, any attempts by Selangor PAS to flex its muscles without due regard to its fellow coalition partners would be deemed as arrogant and uncooperative," he said in a statement today.

The Petaling Jaya Utara MP also warned that such a would move would only serve to weaken the governing coalition.

dap graftbuster pc 230409 tony puaIn view of this, he urged PAS to respect the spirit of multi-racialism since almost half of the population in Selangor comprised non-Muslims and non-Malays.

“If Selangor PAS chooses to ignore the multicultural mandate granted by the people of Selangor in the last elections, its continued unilateral attempts to impose its views in the Selangor administration would only lead to a break up in the Pakatan state,” he said.

Pua said DAP would never support the sale of 'haram' (prohibited in Islam) goods such as alcohol and spirits to Muslims but it also would not support a blanket ban on alcohol in the state.

"(This is) not because we encourage the promotion of alcohol consumption but because the proposed ban in essence infringes on the rights of others in the state of Selangor," he said.

Anwar: Present policy stays

Meanwhile Malaysiakini learnt that the Shah Alam City Council will be the first local council which will curb the sale of alcohol in Selangor, effective next January.

Sources said that the council had agreed to proceed with this at its meeting last month.

However Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim told reporters in Parliament this morning that there was a consensus among coalition parties to retain the current policy.

He added that any new changes will have to be done through the state exco and the menteri besar, and not implemented through local councils.

Selangor menteri besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim is expected to make an announcement on this matter later today after the exco meeting.

PAS policies in Kelantan

At present, the PAS-led Kelantan government has banned gambling, restricted the sale of alcohol and requires men and women to queue in separate lines at shops.

Since it was trounced in the 2004 general election, PAS has been trying to revamp its hardline image in order to garner support from the non-Muslim communities.

In the March 2008 polls, the party witnessed a marked improvement in its performance after joining forces with DAP and PKR to form the Pakatan Rakyat alliance.

Among the seats won by PAS include multi-racial seats with a significant number of non-Muslim voters -