Commentary Lifestyle

Honestly, it has been an unsettling few weeks for Malaysians

ACP Mazelan Paijan

ACP Mazelan Paijan

Written by Aziz Hassan

October 2, 2017.

Recollections & Reflections – A weekly column

THE sultan has decreed and at the right time too because the controversy concerned had led to too many questions being raised, especially from the perspective of a plural society whose top leadership espouses moderation.

But it should not have come to this really, for this is an administrative matter that should have been dealt with decisively by the administrators – the civil servants and politicians. Then again, when it comes to all things Islam, you would be hard pressed to find one from these two categories with the boldness and courage to go against popular sentiments held strongly by some Muslims.

The irony is that our prime minister often tells the international community and world leaders about how Malaysia practices moderation, including moderate Islam, but events in recent years and recent weeks point to a different environment which is clearly goes against what our Constitution says.

After being jolted by the Muslims only launderette in Muar, Malaysians read of another in Kangar, which had been operating for two months.

That Perlis mufti Datuk Mohd. Asri Zainal Abidin, a vocal critic of the Muar outlet and usually on many other Islamic issues, or his office or anyone else in authority there didn’t know about the one on Jalan Kampung Bakau until alerted by a news report came as a shock simply because nothing is a secret in Malaysia’s smallest state.

Jalan Kampung Bakau is a popular route with both sides transformed by new commercial buildings and homes since recent years. The road is widely used because at one end is where a popular fastfood chain and an equally popular nasi ganja open concept restaurant are located, next to each other. For no government official or politician not to know earlier is simply a joke of unbelievable proportions.

Having said that, the ball is in the court of our political leadership because no government department or agency is independent of the Cabinet. In the states, the Islamic agencies and officials eventually have to listen to the rulers as the head of Islam but at the administrative level, it’s the chief executive who should take the lead.

Hopefully the case of the two laundrettes remains as part of history, never to be repeated.

Then there was the more recent case of United States-based Turkish scholar/writer Mustafa Aykol who was questioned by Islamic officials just after being detained at the airport on his way out.

This was not the first time Aykol had been in Malaysia to participate in a talk but a preacher he says he is not and the recent event he participated in was a forum.

Malaysian political leaders need to take a serious look at the situation if they want the world to believe that it is indeed a country that doesn’t tolerate hardline religious extremism. They must not forget that decisions like the one against the request to organise the beer festival get reported all over the world. They affect the country’s image.

So who had the last call? Or was it “one for the road”?

After the organiser said Kuala Lumpur City Hall had mentioned political sensitivity as the reason for refusing to issue a permit for the beer festival, which significantly had been held for five years before this, twice in KL, Malaysians were told that security was the reason the event could not be allowed to proceed.

Now Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohd. Fuzi Harun says the people must not blame the cops for the decision against the festival because that was one for the local authority. He went on to say that the police though had received intelligence report of a threat by militants opposing the event.

IGP: Don’t blame the cops for beer fest cancellation


PUTRAJAYA: Don’t blame the police for the cancellation of events like the Better Beer Festival 2017, said Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun.

The Inspector-General of Police said the decision to cancel rested with the local council, not the police.

(Read more at http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/10/02/igp-dont-blame-the-cops-for-beer-fest-cancellation/#Ixi50Igd5wuG8gwW.99)

(Excerpts from Bernama report on September 30, 2017)

SHAH ALAM: The police will not approve a permit for a German food and beverage party scheduled to be held at a supermarket in Klang on Oct 12 and 13.

North Klang district police chief ACP Mazelan Paijan (pic) said this was because the event, Centro German F&B Party, would serve alcoholic beverages to guests.

“The police will not allow (the event to be organised) just like the recent order by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who wanted the police to ensure there will be no beer fest.

Prior to this, the Klang Municipal Council had approved the event……

Need we say more?

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About the author

Aziz Hassan

A journalist since July 1976 with both the English and Malaya press and was with two newspaper groups before The Mole. Does corporate report-writing and translation in his free time. Currently also a contributing weekly rugby columnist for the New Straits Times.