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Health 101: Alcohol Moderation & Choosing Between the 2 Greater Evils

Alcohol Cigarette Tobacco Statistic Our World In Data Beer Malaysia

If one zooms down to the statistics in Malaysia, the risk from smoking is even higher at a factor of 4 compared to taking alcohol. The only known risk of alcoholism in Malaysia has been notable when there are deaths from drunken driving. Data source: Our World In Data


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Moral Policing By PAS

It was not a big surprise to see PAS politicians stepping into the role of moral policing not only for Muslims but also unnecessarily for non-Muslims by giving silly excuses like all need to respect the sensitivity of Muslims.

After closing down all the licensed 4D centers in Kedah with the excuse that PAS is protecting the non-Muslims from sins of gambling, we have one politician coming over to a mall and telling the mall management off on their beer promotion for the upcoming Chinese New Year:-

The action of PAS MP Muhammad Fawwaz Muhammad Jan, who demanded that a beer promotion event at a mall here be covered up, has raised many eyebrows. The Permatang Pauh MP had reportedly marched into the mall on Monday (Jan 9) and demanded that beer sales not be done openly.

Together with a few PAS members, Muhammad Fawwaz met the mall management and said that there had been complaints from Muslims. The beer promotion is held in conjunction with the Chinese New Year, with similar sales being held in other cities nationwide. DAP’s Pengkalan Kota assemblyman Daniel Gooi said Fawwaz had overstepped his position by assuming the role of “moral police”.

Gooi said it was not the role of an MP or elected representative to take action on activities they believe is inappropriate. It is clear the promotion is in conjunction with the upcoming Chinese New Year celebration.

(Source: TheStar)

And this gets amplified that by taking care of the majority’s sensitivities, it justifies that the sensitivities of the minority can be overlooked:-

Penang mufti Wan Salim Mohd Noor has called for improvements in the laws relating to the sale and promotion of alcohol in the state, saying the sensitivities of all cultures must be considered.

Responding to an objection raised by Permatang Pauh MP Fawwaz Md Jan against the sale of beer at the concourse area of a mall in Perai ahead of Chinese New Year, he said he agreed that alcohol should not be sold openly.

“This is to ensure the sensitivities of the Muslim community are considered and to maintain harmonious relations among the races in this country.

“It is better not to have promotions of alcohol openly to the general public. It is sufficient to make it at a designated area just for non-Muslims.”

(Source: Free Malaysia Today)

The problem with the people who don’t drink alcohol or gamble because of their personal moral standards has the tendency to impose the same onto others who don’t share the same standards and make things worse by creating a more illegal market for alcohol & gambling.

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There has been too much bad press on alcoholic drinks namely beers because of some minor instances of drunk drinking & religious zealots who are probably jealous that they are unable to take a pint themselves. It is funny that they can tolerate more damaging acts against Muslims but choose to interfere with the affairs of the non-Muslims instead. 

Moderation is Key

Nothing good comes from doing or taking any excessive and the same goes for alcohol or even gambling which some may call a game of chance. You can die from drinking excessive water or sleeping excessively so moderation is the key. Alcohol is actually healthy when it is taken moderately:-

Alcohol is only healthy in smaller amounts — about 1 drink a day for women (5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1.5 ounces of liquor) and 2 for men.

If you’re in good shape, moderate drinking makes you 25% to 40% less likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or hardened arteries. This may be in part because small amounts of alcohol can raise your HDL (“good” cholesterol) levels.

Moderate drinkers are far more likely to exercise than people who don’t drink.

Regular moderate drinkers are less likely to get kidney stones — 41% less likely for those who drink beer, 33% for wine drinkers. Part of the reason may be that alcohol, like caffeine in coffee and tea, makes you pee more often. That helps clear out the tiny crystals that form stones.

Good friends are good for you. And people who have a drink or two together — rather than, say, sodas — are likely to spend more time talking. They’re also more likely to share smiles and keep everyone involved in the conversation. But don’t overdo it — it’s called happy hour for a reason.

Intimacy helps you deal with stress, and a little alcohol may move things along. In one study, women who had one or two glasses of red wine a day said they had more desire, arousal, and sexual satisfaction than those who didn’t. Those who drank more reported no change. A drink also may help raise a man’s testosterone levels, which makes both men and women friskier.

A drink or two a few times a week may make you less likely to get Alzheimer’s disease. Moderate drinking may also reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease — both of which can speed up the effects of Alzheimer’s.

That happy-hour cocktail or glass of wine with dinner may make you less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Scientists aren’t sure why exactly, but it might be that a drink or two helps your body deal with high blood sugar levels in a healthy way.

(Source: WebMD)

Frankly speaking, it is great to meet up with friends and family and have a long chat about the good old days whilst having a good can of beer. No one drinks excessively or gets too drunk to drive and all ends well at the end of the day.

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Alcohol is beneficial when it is taken moderately but the same cannot be said of smoking cigarettes which with every puff continues to pollute the lungs with black tar & dangerous chemicals such as nicotine, hydrogen cyanide, formaldehyde, lead, arsenic, ammonia, radioactive elements, benzene & carbon monoxide. And yet, this seems less dangerous than a can of beer. 

Alcoholism & Hinduism

Whilst it is clear to the Muslims that alcohol is forbidden in Islam and even in other religions, interestingly there are some verses in Hinduism that reference alcohol:-

“The ten intoxicating drinks are unclean for a brahmana, but a Kshatriya and a Vaishya and Sudra commit no wrong in drinking them” – (Vishnu Smrti 22:84).

“Used judiciously, wine relieves a person of worries; otherwise, it leads one to hell (through excessive use). It gives the ability to work, helps the natural functions, and blesses with beauty. Judicious use of wine is like that of the nectar of immortality” – (Garuda Purana 1:155:34-35).

“There is no sin in the eating of meat, nor in wine, nor in sexual intercourse. Such is the natural way of living beings, but abstention is conducive to great rewards” – (Manusmriti 5.56).

(Source: Hinduism Facts)

Admittedly there are plenty of references that excessive alcohol is bad as well but moderate intake of alcohol is tolerated depending on the type of work or occasion. But the above is somehow in tune with the general sense of Hinduism where you do not start being guilty until you get saved but rather you can achieve enlightenment if you do more.

Final Say

The fight against the sale of alcohol in this country is actually more political rather than a real concern for the welfare of the citizen. It is said that the chemicals from smoking account for 80% to 90% of causes of lung cancer and there is even a “fatwa” stating that smoking is haram in Islam:-

Many Muslims in this country are still taking lightly the ‘smoking is haram’ fatwa, that was decided by the Muzakarah Committee of the National Fatwa Council for Islamic Religious Affairs in 1995.

Hence, Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Islamic Affairs), Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman urged Muslims, especially in the state, to realise that smoking had been decreed as haram in line with Islamic teachings.

(Source: Malay Mail)

And yet hypocrites as they are, you do not see any PAS politicians on the urge to stop any sales of cigarettes, cigars, or vapes from any shopping malls or sundry shops.

Why? Because the majority of smokers are Muslims & Malays which forms a bulk of their core supporters in politics. Instead, they decide to piss on their own standard on something that has nothing to do with Muslims or Malays in the country and try to score cheap brownie points with the same supporters.

This is dangerous as their action is not only illegal, unfair, and unconstitutional, but it is also the start of things to the oppression of the minority and extremisms in the country.

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