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Enforcement 101: Another Dumb Call for Beer Ban Again?

genting highland trip 2006 drinks beer ban

Another call for a beer ban by the fanatics who don’t beer but wants to enjoy the taxes collected from the sale of beers?  When it comes to corruption or abuse of public funds, you will see these fanatics go into a silent mode and hardly say anything. 

Old Dumb Call for Ban

Here we go again

Selangor PAS wants the state government to include beer in its ban on the sale of alcohol in all Muslim-majority areas and state executive councillor Ronnie Liu to be removed from his post as head of local government

(Source: The Star)

This is not the first time that the Selangor PAS raised the issue of getting beer banned in this State of Selangor. Whilst I understand where PAS is coming from on this matter, I believe they are misguided and hitting on the wrong solution. It is unfair for beer-drinking citizens if the blanket beer ban materialises as suggested by PAS.

Beer Ban Loopholes

Not only it is unfair to the non-Muslims, but it is also an act of imposing their own set of values onto others when they are not saints themselves. Even if we consider their proposal in a rather crazy way, there are just too many loopholes in the PAS’ demand for a beer ban, namely:-

  • How PAS will determine which area is a Muslim majority area? By electoral list? By some survey? By household number? By number of Muslims on the street? Or by some hidden, random numbers?
  • Assuming the government had identified Muslim and non-Muslim majority areas – would there be a “yearly review” to determine if there has been any shift in the composition of the people in the said areas?
  • What happens in a non-Muslim majority area? There will not be any ban on the sale of beers? If so, does it look too unfair for the non-Muslims who are staying in Muslim majority areas? That they are getting unfair treatment compared to non-Muslims in other areas?
  • What stops some Muslims from travelling from Muslim majority areas to non-Muslim majority areas and buying and consuming beer? If PAS is claiming a wide ban will discourage these Muslims from drinking beer, how they will monitor the same in areas where beers are sold?

There are indeed loopholes in the call for a beer ban and whilst it is going to be a problem enforcing this beer ban (to meet its original holy-than-holier objectives); it is also being unfair to the non-Muslims who have all the rights to drink beer and other alcoholic drinks.

A Better Solution

PAS instead of calling for a beer ban should look at other means of meeting the objectives of ensuring Muslims are not consuming beer (or any alcohol). These means should include among others:-

  • Education – by putting a ban on the sale of beer, it effectively puts a stop on the supply but not on the demand. When beer-drinking citizens find it is harder to get the supply, they will either travel elsewhere to get the supply or get their supply from the black market or other illegal means. PAS should instead start educating the citizens on the implication of drinking beers from religious, moral and health aspects
  • Enforcement – allow the outlets to sell beers but with a strict condition that it must be sold to non-Muslims. If these outlets are found violating the conditions, then a heavy fine must be imposed. Periodic checking must be done to ensure that the conditions are enforced all time.

Final Say

This way, PAS can meet its objective whilst ensuring fairness to the non-Muslims. Clear guidelines must be drawn up to ensure that both the consumers and the sellers are aware of who beers and alcohols can be sold to and on what conditions.

Calling for a blanket ban on beer will not achieve much and instead, it will only backfire miserably.

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