On 28 October, the Tangga Batu Member of Parliament (MP), Rusnah Aluai has made a controversial statement in the Dewan Rakyat regarding the Timah whisky, which she had related that consuming the alcoholic drink was akin to “drinking a Malay woman”.
Following her comments, there were a furious backlash from netizens, criticizing her for making an illogical statement.
In response, Rusnah had issued an apology on her official social media account to explain herself regarding the issue. Rusnah claimed that her original intention on the remark was misunderstood by the public.
In the statement, the PKR MP said she had carefully scrutinised the various responses and feedback to her remarks made in Parliament on Thursday (28 October) and stressed that,
“Although my original intention was to make sure no confusion arises over the label, my speech was misunderstood. Therefore, to parties who took offence to the remark, I apologise.”
Previously, Rusnah had questioned Timah’s name and the particular image of “Captain Speedy” or being known as Tristam Charles Sawyer Speedy, which is being used as the brand image of the whisky.
She pointed out that the brand name is confusing as they uses short forms of the Malay feminine name, such as Fatimah.
In addition, she also said the image printed of Captain Speedy printed on the whisky bottle seems to be wearing a kopiah that is often donned by Muslims.
“Can’t Timah be given a different brand name? The mines or something? It is not good for women, because Timah is imagined as a Malay woman, kak Timah, mak Timah, makcik Timah, so when we drink the whiskey, it is as though we are drinking a Malay woman.” she said.
However, Malaysia distillery Winepark, which produces the Timah whisky had a meeting with multiple ministers and agreed to reconsider its brand name and image, adding that they need a week to consult their investors and other stakeholders.
Nonetheless, the company had previously explained that Timah was named after the Malay word for tin, while the man on the label is Tristam Speedy. The company intends to honour the role of the metal played in the country’s development.
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