The Chinese New Year is less than two weeks away, and many brands have been taking this opportunity to run campaigns and organise events to attract potential customers, including Carlsberg. However, a politician was annoyed by Carlsberg promoting its beers to the public.
Apparently, the Carlsberg event that was held at Sunway Carnival Mall, Penang had attracted complaints from some visitors to the mall for the massive promotion of alcoholic beverages.
Following the complaints, Permatang Pauh MP Muhammad Fawwaz Mohamad Jan stepped in and called upon the management of Sunway Carnival Mall to hold the event privately instead.
In a Facebook post, Fawwaz said he and his team paid a visit to the mall’s management after he received complaints from several parties about the event, which is causing discomfort among Muslim shoppers.
He added that he is strongly against the idea of selling and promoting alcohol in public spaces.
“We insist to ban any sale of promotion of alcohol on a large scale, like what’s going on in the main concourse of Sunway Carnival Mall,” he said.
In a separate statement, Fawwaz said that the sale of alcohol widely is akin to challenging the ‘sensitivities of Muslims’ and promotes drunk driving which will only claim more lives.
“Promoting alcohol does not align with the 5th National Principles – Courtest and Morality. The consumers will be prompted to do immoral things,” he added.
Stop moral policing
Speaking to The Vibes, Penang Warisan chairman Jeff Ooi Chuan Aun pointed out that the permit to sell liquor is regulated by the Customs Department and local councils and it is not the role of an MP to interfere such matters.
“Why wasn’t such a visit forthcoming six decades ago, as it is the prerogative of non-Muslims to consume liquor?” he asked.
Meanwhile, DAP’s Pengkalan Kota assemblyman Daniel Gooi Zi Sen slammed Fawwaz for morally policing a commercial entity. He added that Fawwaz was intimating the mall’s management and could be conceived as an attempt to disrupt public harmony here.
If the mall had met the requirements of the local council and liquor sales are just meant for non-Muslims, there is no place for Fawwaz to interfere, he added.
On Twitter, netizens disagree with Fawwaz’s remarks and said that a Muslim’s faith is not that weak, to the point where seeing alcohol would influence them.
“Don’t use the term ‘Muslim community’. You make it seem like the whole Muslim community is so weak that selling alcohol in the mall can be their fear in life,” a netizen said.
“‘Islamic rule only applies for Muslims only, not for non-Muslims’ they said,” another netizen commented.
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