Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Gen (Rtd) Hashim Mohd Ali call upon the authorities concerned to rescind FT liquor ban

MM Online:

Is the ban on liquor sale a mala fide move? — Gen (Rtd) Hashim Mohd Ali


Gen (Rtd) Hashim Mohd Ali
 

NOVEMBER 24 — As President of the Chiefs Circle (made up of retired armed forces chiefs) and former Chairman of Pernama (Malaysian Armed Forces Trading Corporation, running 85 retail stores nationwide at military camps catering to Armed Forces personnel, veterans and their families), I strongly support the press statement on November 23 by Brig-General (Rtd) Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji, President of Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan, in opposing the ban on the sale of liquor from October next year by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) at sundry shops, grocery stores, convenience stores and Chinese medicine shops.

My position is simple and similar to that of Mohamad Arshad. While it is not my business to promote alcohol consumption, we must respect the rights of non-Muslims as we live in a multi-religious country and for many generations, there have been no problems on the sale of liquor from these outlets.


Brig-General (Rtd) Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji 

The Malaysian armed forces are also multiracial and consist of both Muslims and non-Muslims. The open purchase and drinking of liquor for non-Muslim officers and soldiers from the Pernama stores, have never been a problem.

In fact, it allows the senior officers to monitor the purchase and drinking behaviour of non-Muslim armed forces personnel under their watch.

There have been no local studies and evidence whatsoever to suggest that the sale of liquor from such outlets has been linked to the problem of drink driving or even health.

There are far more harmful things, such as cigarettes, that are being sold from these outlets and there must be no double standards involved in coming out with such a policy to curb the sale of liquor. Furthermore, the last thing that our economy needs in this or the post pandemic crisis, is further curbs on legitimate business activities.

What is even more alarming is that Ahmad Marzuk Shaary (of PAS), the Deputy Minister in Prime Minister Department (Religious Affairs), has stated on November 21 that the ban may be extended to other states.

I would just like to remind ministerial newbies not to be blindly overzealous in enforcing their religious beliefs on Malaysian of other faiths. That in itself is against the fundamental tenets of Islam which commands Muslims in authority to protect the rights and liberties of non-Muslims under their care.

I would like to call upon the authorities concerned to rescind this liquor ban. Otherwise, it may undermine the spirit of our Rukun Negara, national unity and the cultural harmony and diversity that we have enjoyed between Muslims and non-Muslims.


* General (Rtd) Tan Sri Hashim Mohd Ali is a former Chief of Malaysian Defence Forces.

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kt notes:

Well spoken General Hashim and Brig Gen Arshad Raji, you were soldiers who fought for our nation and people, and are still fighting for them. Let those non-combatant mullahs cossetted comfortably in cool clean mosques respect the generals' opinion-advice. 

Cop killed, another critically injured after shootout with smugglers at Thai border

MM Online:

Home minister: Cop killed, another critically injured after shootout with smugglers at Thai border


Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin speaks to reporters in Ulu Kinta, Ipoh June 19, 2020. ― Picture by Farhan Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 — A General Operations Force (GOF) personnel was killed and another was critically injured in a shootout with smugglers at the Malaysia-Thailand border in Perlis today, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.

He said Corporal Baharuddin Ramli died on the spot while Corporal Norihan a/l Tari was badly injured and has been sent to the Tuanku Fauziah Hospital in Kangar.

An initial investigation found that the two GOF personnel were engaged in intelligence work at the location when they were set upon by two groups of smugglers believed to comprise locals and foreigners, he said in a statement.

Hamzah said he was informed that the shootout occurred at about 3am along Border Wall TS9 in Padang Besar, Perlis.

He said he has instructed the Royal Malaysia Police to carry out a thorough investigation to identify the smugglers.

“The government takes a serious view of the incident and will not compromise in the matter of people committing cross-border crimes,” he said.

Hamzah said he and all Home Ministry staff extend their condolences to the family of the dead policeman.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador, when contacted by Bernama, said he was on his way to Perlis. — Bernama


Quarantine? May not apply if MP is PN

MM Online:

Ruckus in Parliament as MPs express concern over Keningau MP’s alleged quarantine breach to attend sitting


Warisan’s Seppanggar MP Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman stated that Keningau MP Datuk Jeffrey Kitingan (pic) was present at the Sabah state assembly on November 12 and should not be in Parliament today as he has not met the 14-day mandatory quarantine order. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 — Several Opposition lawmakers today raised safety concerns as they alleged Keningau MP Datuk Jeffrey Kitingan had broken Covid-19 quarantine orders to attend today’s Dewan Rakyat sitting.

The matter was first raised during Ministers’ Question Time (MQT) by PKR’s Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil who asked Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Seri Azalina Othman to deliberate whether Kitingan should remove himself from today’s proceedings as he had recently returned from Sabah.

“Point of order, Yang di-Pertua, I was made to understand that there are some among us that recently returned from Sabah but I am not sure whether YB from Keningau should be in quarantine or not. I request Yang di-Pertua [to deliberate] on the matter,” he said.

Following Fahmi’s question, Warisan’s Seppanggar MP Datuk Mohd Azis Jamman also stated that Kitingan was present at the Sabah state assembly on November 12 and should not be in Parliament today as he has not met the 14-day mandatory quarantine order.

“He attended the Sabah state assembly on Thursday, November 12, so if calculated according to the number of days, he should not be in the Dewan today because the basis of being quarantined is to protect members of Parliament from being infected with Covid-19,” said.

Azalina then responded briefly, stating that she will get an immediate answer from the Dewan Rakyat secretary on the matter and will subsequently inform Parliament but insisted that the proceedings continue in the meantime.

This then drew a response from DAP’s Kota Melaka MP Khoo Poay Tiong who asked Azalina to order Kitingan to exit the Dewan Rakyat while they waited for the answer.

“Before we get the answer, perhaps Yang di-Pertua could order the Keningau MP to leave the Dewan because we want to err on the side of caution when it comes to infectious diseases,” he said.

Azalina replied that she needed time to confirm Kitingan’s quarantine status.

“I need to get confirmation first. If Yang Berhormat (MP Keningau) entered the Dewan through the front door, then the matter is up to the Parliament authorities. Yang Berhormat is in the Dewan now. I cannot order him to leave unless I receive confirmation from the Dewan Rakyat secretary, so I would like some time. Can you all be fair to me as well?” she said.

DAP’s Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching then asked Azalina to compel Kitingan to explain whether he had undergone the 14-day mandatory quarantine, to which Azalina again stressed that she needed confirmation from the Dewan Rakyat secretary.

Teo then asked that the Parliament session be postponed until confirmation was received, which drew a response from Azalina, who said that Teo has no power to compel her to do so and again called for patience as she awaits confirmation.

Azalina then received a written response from the Dewan Rakyat secretary, stating that Kitingan had been cleared to attend today’s sitting.

“YB has been allowed to attend by the Parliament clinic’s doctor. He has already received a release order following the end of his quarantine order from the Ministry of Health (MOH),” she said.

However, this drew heckles from the Opposition MPs, including Teo, who stated that a “double standard” was being applied to Kitingan.

Azalina denied this and ordered proceedings to continue as scheduled, with Education Minister Radzi Jidin to continue with his MQT.

Kitingan ordered to stay out of today’s Dewan Rakyat proceedings

Following the conclusion of Radzi’s MQT session, Aziz brought up Kitingan’s alleged quarantine breach with Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun, insisting that a “double standard” had been applied.

Azhar however responded that the Keningau MP had received a quarantine order from the MOH on November 12 and subsequently received a release order on November 23.

Aziz then stated that Kitingan was spotted in Kota Kinabalu on November 13 and repeated his allegation of a quarantine breach.

Azhar then explained that he had asked Kitingan not to attend today’s proceedings as a precautionary measure.



General Operations Force personnel shot dead at Thai border in Perlis

MM Online:

General Operations Force personnel shot dead at Thai border in Perlis


Armoured operatives from the General Operations Force secure the perimeter at the One City building in Petaling Jaya November 27, 2018. — Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 — A General Operations Force (PGA) personnel, on duty at the Malaysia-Thailand border in Perlis has died, believed to be shot, early this morning.

Without revealing further details, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador, when contacted by Bernama, confirmed the incident.

“Yes, I confirm the incident and I am on my way there (Perlis) to see the condition of the PGA personnel involved,” he said briefly.

Bernama is made to understand that a press conference by the Perlis police regarding the incident will be held later. — Bernama


Perak forest continues to be ravaged

Malaysiakini:



Ravaged by mining and logging, Perak forest now threatened by farming

A forest reserve in Perak, which is part of a key wildlife corridor in Peninsular Malaysia, is now being threatened by plans to develop monoculture farming there.

Last week, Perak Menteri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu said three companies had received permits to develop 400 hectares in the Piah Forest Reserve, pending environmental impact assessments.

Environmental group Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) said monoculture farming will be yet another blow to the forest reserve in Lenggong which has already been ravaged by mining and logging activities.

The permits have been issued despite the reserve being part of the Central Forest Spine - a network of four main forest complexes which supplies 80 percent of the water supply in Malaysia and is a habitat to various endangered wildlife such as the Malayan tiger.

SAM advisor Meor Razak Meor Abdul Rahman said that although the law permits parts of forest reserves to be used for agriculture, mining, and logging, those activities can have an irreversible impact on the environment.

“All parties should know that when a forest complex, especially one that is protected and has “security of tenure”, is exploited through logging and other damaging activities, the forest’s functions will be affected.

“This means the goals of forest management, which is the core of national resource management, too will be affected,” he said.

Most of Piah Forest Reserve can be logged or mined

According to the National Forestry Act, forest reserves can be classified for different usages, including for “production” under which forest products like timber and minerals can be legally harvested. Parts of the forest reserve can also be used for agricultural purposes.

Meor said that out of the Piah Forest Reserve’s 72,190.46 hectares, only 17,107 hectares (23 percent) are gazetted as catchment areas.

The remaining are classified as “production” forest, including parts which were previously classified as virgin jungle reserve.


Meor Razak Meor Abdul Rahman

“Within the 55,083.46 hectares classified for “timber production forest under sustained yield”, parts are already and will be exploited for monoculture farming and quarries,” he said.

Monoculture farming, such as the mass planting of fruit trees including the popular musang king, has previously been blamed for the obliteration of biodiversity in forest complexes in Kelantan.

“When a forest ceases to be a permanent reserve, and a reserve then becomes a monoculture farm, the original forest cover would be completely logged.

“This logging is not controlled by sustainable forest management principles, the Semenanjung Malaysia Annual Allowable Cut for Permanent Reserved Forest, or the Malaysia Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Forest Management,” he said.

This means that, although a portion of the forest reserve is still considered a "forest" on paper, it no longer functions as one - it no longer performs a forest's functions such as being a carbon sink, a water catchment, and a wildlife corridor.

Monoculture plantations within forests can also cause wildlife to search elsewhere for food and shelter, causing them to venture onto highways or areas populated by humans, leading to human-wildlife conflict.

Besides Perak and Kelantan, Pahang, Kedah and Terengganu are also looking at using its forest reserves for monoculture farming.

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kt notes:

Mono-culture is bad because it involves reusing the exact same soil,thus it can lead to plant pathogens and diseases.

We can trust Azumu to eff up Perak's forest reserves. Apart from "hugging" the trees (all the way to the timber mills), he continues to eff up Aborigines' assets and adversely affect their way of life and livelihood.

I continue to be baffled by HRH's choice of this treacherous snake (from a kutu party) to be MB of his State. 

Biden's Spy Chief

MM Online:

Biden's pick for top spy brings experience from CIA and White House


If confirmed, Haines would confront low workforce morale fuelled by President Donald Trump’s attacks on intelligence agencies and their assessments and his ousters of career officials he considered disloyal. ― AFP pic

WASHINGTON, Nov 24 ― Avril Haines, tapped by President-elect Joe Biden to be the top US spy, is a former CIA No. 2 who would be taking over as the chief overseer of a US intelligence community beset by low morale and charges its work has been used for political attacks.

A lawyer from New York, judo brown belt and licensed pilot who once tried unsuccessfully to fly a small plane across the Atlantic Ocean, Haines is the first woman named as director of national intelligence, a post created after the September 11, 2001, attacks to coordinate the work of the 17 US intelligence agencies.

Republican and Democratic Senate sources said Haines is expected to win confirmation ― but not without some hard questioning about her role as deputy CIA director from August 2013 to January 2015 and her views on national security challenges, from Russia to cyber warfare.

“Avril is smart and capable,” said Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. “I expect that she will face rigorous questioning from senators on both sides of the aisle.”

At the CIA, Haines accepted a review board’s recommendation not to discipline CIA officials involved in monitoring computers used by intelligence committee staffers to draft a report on the agency’s detention of suspected extremists subjected to brutal interrogation methods widely condemned as torture.

Speaking earlier this year with the Daily Beast, Haines said she found the recommendation “persuasive” and unrelated to the report or the interrogation programme, and she condemned torture as “immoral.”

She returned to the White House as former President Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser. There, she steered a decision to expand US refugee admissions as the Syrian civil war unleashed a refugee flood, arguing that doing so contradicted Islamist extremists’ anti-Western messages.

If confirmed, Haines would confront low workforce morale fueled by President Donald Trump’s attacks on intelligence agencies and their assessments and his ousters of career officials he considered disloyal.

She would succeed John Ratcliffe, a former Texas congressman with scant intelligence experience when he was chosen in February by Trump after vigorously opposing Trump’s impeachment.

Democrats and former intelligence officials accuse Ratcliffe of declassifying intelligence for use by Trump and his Republican allies to attack political opponents, including Biden, a charge Ratcliffe’s office has denied.

“The sooner we can get a confirmed DNI in place to start fixing the damage the last four years have done to our intelligence agencies, the better,” said Warner. ― Reuters

Amanah kena radioactive fallout from MahaDoom

Malaysiakini:



'Mahathir effect' causing cracks in Amanah

A tussle between two schools of thought on how to approach former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is causing cracks in Amanah.

Those upset with the top Amanah leadership's cosy relationship with the Langkawi MP have shown their displeasure by taking a back seat from federal leadership roles or even flirting with PKR.

Meru assemblyperson Mohd Fakhrulrazi Mohd Mokhtar went as far as to switch from Amanah to PKR and Hulu Kelang assemblyperson Saari Sungib admitted to nudging him to make the leap.

Now, a group of Amanah grassroots leaders are demanding action against the rebels and insist that the party should not make an enemy out of Mahathir.

"We, the Amanah grassroots leaders at the division, state and national levels, urge the Amanah leadership to take a firm position against individuals (party members) who have joined other parties. Their actions are causing restlessness in the party.

"We also support the Amanah leadership's position to support Pakatan Harapan chairperson Anwar Ibrahim as the prime ministerial candidate. At the same time, we support Amanah's position not to make a political enemy out of Mahathir," they said in a joint statement.

The statement was signed by 34 Amanah leaders, most of them from the divisional and state levels.

For the record, the Amanah leadership has always been supportive of Anwar as the prime ministerial candidate. However, critics believe the cordial relationship with Mahathir is holding back the party.

In September, Husam Musa resigned as the Amanah vice-president but remained as the Kota Bharu Amanah chief.



Meanwhile, Fakhrulrazi (above) defected from Amanah to PKR in the same month, but it only became public knowledge this month.

Amanah vice-president Mujahid Yusof Rawa has sought to calm the internal rumbling, stressing that the party has not strayed from Harapan's consensus to see Anwar, who is also the PKR president, as the prime ministerial candidate.

"The rumour is (that the) Amanah (leadership) had chosen a different path and supported Mahathir (as prime minister).

"(These rumours) were started in bad faith to taint Amanah's image, more so as attempts to 'attack' the party president as the cause of the split in Amanah.

"Those responsible for this narrative should apologise over (their) efforts to ruin Amanah, whether they did so intentionally or not, and hence affecting unity within Harapan," Mujahid said.

Anwar and Mahathir had another falling out after the collapse of the Harapan government in late February.

Their icy relationship has been a stumbling block to a united opposition.


Related:

Amanah's defections to PKR a consequence of party leaders' preference for Mahathir


Malaysia highest number ever of 1,884 new Covid-19 cases

MM Online:

Dr Noor Hisham: Malaysia records highest number ever of 1,884 new Covid-19 cases with 1,209 alone from Selangor

Monday, 23 Nov 2020 06:31 PM MYT


Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya on November 21, 2020. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 — Selangor recorded its highest ever number of infections at 1,209 cases today from a total of 1,884 positive Covid-19 cases in total, the Health Ministry revealed today.

Sabah was the second highest with 289 cases while Kuala Lumpur had 196 cases.

Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said only two cases were imported while the rest were locally transmitted.

“The high number of cases in Klang Valley is mainly from the workplace clusters in Teratai which had 1,067 cases and the Damanlela cluster with 101 cases. The 289 cases in Sabah is also high considering the low numbers recently,” said Dr Noor Hisham today during his briefing from Putrajaya.

“From the 289 cases in Sabah, 164 came from close contact tracing while 33 cases today came from the temporary detainment depot, lockups and prisons with 12 from the Bakti cluster, nine from GK Tawau cluster, seven cases from the Seberang Prai prison, three from the Sandakan prison and one apiece from the Tawau and Tembok clusters.”

Till today there are 115 cases being treated in the internal care unit where 48 of them are in need of the ventilator.

There were also two reported deaths today, bringing the total number of deaths to 337.

“Death number 336 was index case-51,858, an 80-year-old Malaysian male who died at the Duchess of Kent hospital, while case 337 was a Malaysian female aged 58 who has a history of high blood pressure, heart disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Both were from Sabah,” Dr Noor Hisham added.

Selangor has now doubled the number of reported cases consecutively after recording 603 cases yesterday.


Monday, November 23, 2020

Mucho taxes including GST coming soon

Malaysiakini:



MOF sets up committee to study reintroduction of GST

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has set up a committee to study various revenue-enhancing measures, including the possibility of reintroducing the Goods and Services Tax (GST), according to Maybank Investment Bank (Maybank IB) Research.

In a note released today following a dialogue with Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz last Friday, Maybank IB Research quoted Zafrul as saying that other measures included analysing weaknesses in the tax regime and impact of new taxation on the economy, studying options for new taxes such as carbon tax and digital tax, rationalising tax incentives, improving tax administration and enhance tax audit, such as implementing tax identification numbers and enhancing data analytics.

“Timing is also important – especially on any new taxes – so as not to disrupt the economic recovery process.

“2021 is a transition year from crisis to recovery,” it quoted Zafrul as saying.



Over the medium term, Zafrul said the government is committed to lowering the budget deficit to four percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2023.

“The key strategy will be on revenue-enhancing given the limited scope to cut spending, such as 95 percent of operating expenditure are ‘locked-in’ obligations, like emoluments, debt service charges and retirement charges,” he was quoted as saying.

On the glove sector, afrul said that the glove manufacturers’ corporate income tax is projected at RM2.8 billion in 2020 and RM4.7 billion in 2021.

“The government decided that no windfall tax will be imposed on glove manufacturers to avoid potential 'opportunity costs/losses' such as glove manufacturing companies investing overseas instead of in Malaysia, and sending the wrong signal to existing and potential investors in other industries,” he was quoted as saying.

On the RM400 million contribution from glove manufacturers as announced in Budget 2021, Zafrul said contributions are voluntary and are on top of the glove manufacturers’ record corporate income taxes of RM2.8 billion in 2020 and RM4.7 billion in 2021.


UMNO told PAS not to force them to accept Bersatu

MM Online:

PAS shouldn’t force us to accept Bersatu, says Umno VP


Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said that apart from PAS, Umno’s cooperation with other parties will be based on their ability to give Umno a strategic advantage at the ballot box — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 — Umno vice president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin today called on PAS to respect his party’s stand on Bersatu, while stressing that Umno will prioritise cooperating with PAS to win the upcoming general elections.

This comes after former Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa reportedly said last Friday that PAS had decided to not ally itself with Umno, if Umno did not also support Bersatu.

“Umno is confident that PAS will not force Umno to accept Bersatu let alone give seats to Bersatu arbitrarily,” said Khaled in a statement.

He also pointed out that although Umno retracted its support for Perikatan Nasional (PN), it had allowed PAS to join the coalition because Umno understood and respected PAS’ position.

“After all, the Muafakat Nasional (MN) charter has never prevented PAS from working with anyone. So at the same, this is what Umno expects from PAS of Umno’s relationship with Bersatu.

“Because of that, I am convinced that the statement that ‘PAS will not be with Umno without Bersatu’ by a person who is not a PAS spokesman, does not represent the stand of PAS.

“It comes from a person who just wants to save Bersatu and divide Muafakat Nasional,” he said.

Khaled said that Umno and PAS both realise that their top priority is the seat negotiations for the upcoming general election between the two as part of the MN partnership.

“PAS must be aware that there will be seats where Umno will clash with Bersatu.

“Since Umno is not part of PN, then any negotiations with Bersatu are for Umno to undertake directly with PN through Barisan Nasional,” he said.

Khaled also said that Umno and PAS have a “convincing synergy”, and called on both parties to optimise said synergy.

However, he stressed that apart from PAS, Umno’s cooperation with other parties will be based on their ability to give Umno a strategic advantage at the ballot box.

“Umno is not in the mission of giving charity to any party to breathe and achieve victory with the help of Umno.

“Umno also does not want to be forced to accept anyone as its political partner. Only jewellers will know gems,” he said.

Since Annuar’s allegations, Umno Youth chief Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki has refuted the FT minister’s claims, saying that a MN central committee meeting last Wednesday had agreed to proceed with registering the partnership between Umno and PAS.

Yesterday, PAS deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man was reported as saying that Umno, PAS and Bersatu must present a united front at the next general election or risk the prospect of three-cornered fights.


Ku Li snubbing Budget debate, may spell doom for Muhyiddin

Malaysiakini:



Umno's Ku Li to snub Budget 2021 debate, questions Muhyiddin's legitimacy

Umno's Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah won't participate in the Budget 2021 debate as long as Dewan Rakyat speaker Azhar Azizan Harun refuses to allow a test of confidence on Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin's Perikatan Nasional government.

Tengku Razaleigh conveyed his intention in a letter dated Nov 19 to Azhar and criticised the Dewan Rakyat speaker's refusal to allow a no-confidence motion.

"As the legitimacy of the government has not been decided yet, I am bound by my conscience on the oath I have taken and, therefore, cannot participate in the debate on the budget," the veteran leader said in his letter.

Tengku Razaleigh also warned about the use of "political corruption" in attempting to help a government to cling on to power.

"To participate in the Dewan Rakyat on the question of the budget without first establishing the prime minister's and his ministers' legitimacy is to compromise on an important constitutional principle which will have serious consequences on the upholding of our constitution, the rule of law and the possible use of political corruption to maintain power in conflict with the constitution.

"It is my considered view that 'political corruption' by its very nature can be described as the 'worm in the bud' that will destroy our constitutional system of democracy from within.

"The opinion in the public domain is that 'political corruption' and money is destroying the soul of our nation and our political system," he said.

Tengku Razaleigh's latest letter was in response to Azhar who last month said he cannot allow a no-confidence motion against the government to take precedence over government matters.

He also made a similar argument in a letter to Tengku Razaleigh in September.

This was after Tengku Razeleigh on Sept 25 urged Azhar to allow a no-confidence motion against Muhyiddin to be debated in the Dewan Rakyat. 



Azhar instead suggested that Tengku Razaleigh seek the consent of de facto Law Minister Takiyuddin Hassan for the no-confidence motion to be tabled.

Tengku Razaleigh, in his latest letter, dismissed the suggestion.

"It is my view that the minister of law has no role whatsoever in determining whether a vote of confidence of the Dewan Rakyat can be tabled.

"To suggest that such an important issue is subject to the agreement of the minister of law is unconstitutional and a serious breach of the autonomy and independence of the Dewan Rakyat from any form of control by the executive," he said.

Tengku Razaleigh did not indicate whether he will participate in the budget vote even though he won't be part of the debate.

However, his push for a no-confidence vote on a government that is trying to avoid one does not bode well for Muhyiddin.

At present, the premier commands the support of 112 MPs in the 222-member Dewan Rakyat.

However, there are only 220 MPs at present following the death of a government and opposition MP.

Without Tengku Razaleigh's support, Muhyiddin's MPs will be down to 111.

Even though Umno is part of Muhyiddin's PN government, some of its MPs have been rattling him to extract a new deal.

It is unclear if they will follow through with the threat during the budget vote which will take place as early as Nov 26.

If the House sees full attendance and MPs vote along partisan lines, it will only take two more government MPs to turn for the Budget 2021 to be defeated.

The vote is crucial for Muhyiddin as it is also a proxy confidence vote.

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kt notes:

Ku Li is spot on in asserting that it will be "a serious breach of the autonomy and independence of the Dewan Rakyat if the executive exerts any form of control on the House".

In short, Ku Li's desired motion on a vote of confidence of the PM cannot and
 should not depend on any ministerial prior approval. The Dewan is independent of executive control (PM plus cabinet).

I am disappointed that Azhar Harun, once respected amongst bloggers and Malaysian socio-political net-citizens, appears to have "joined City Hall". Ku Li insinuated the gravest insult of all at Azhar, in his warn[ing] about the use of "political corruption" in attempting to help a government cling on to power.

Then, UMNO through its VP, Khaled Nordin, has been advised to vote "according to individual MP's conscience", implying those who want to vote against the PN government may do so. Meanwhile, Puad Zarkashi (supreme council member) and Nur Jazlan (UMNO Johor deputy chief) lambasted Annuar Musa for his his biadab-ish attempt to supersede his own UMNO President and acting like a Bersatu spokesman.

All together, plus Zahid and Najib's less-than-favourable remarks about the budget, may spell doom of confidence for Muhyiddin.


Sunday, November 22, 2020

Amanah's defections to PKR a consequence of party leaders' preference for Mahathir

Malaysiakini:



Amanah rep admits to advising Fakhrulrazi to join PKR

Amanah assemblyperson Saari Sungib (above) has admitted to having advised Mohd Fakhrulrazi Mohd Mokhtar to join PKR to solidify support for Anwar Ibrahim as the ninth prime minister.

This came a week after Amanah confirmed that the Meru assemblyperson had left the party to join PKR amid speculations that he had joined PKR in September under the Petaling Jaya division.

Fakhrulrazi, however, remained tight-lipped on joining PKR and insisted that it was Amanah's decision to remove him.



Mohd Fakhrulrazi Mohd Mokhtar

Saari said several weeks ago, Fakhrulrazi had met him to seek advice on whether he should join PKR.

He said he had explained to Fakhrulrazi that the party grassroots and the public see Amanah leadership as leaning its support towards Dr Mahathir Mohamad instead of the PKR president.

For the record, Amanah vice-president Mujahid Yusof Rawa had rubbished claims concerning the support for Anwar and stressed that Fakhrulrazi's defection had nothing to do with speculations on Amanah's declining faith in Anwar.

To revive the grassroots support, Saari said the party has to focus on strengthening its agenda to put Anwar as the next prime minister.



"I believe the effort to put Anwar's image as the prime minister who can bring a meaningful change to the people can become a reality.

"I am confident that this can be achieved with the assistance from component parties within Pakatan Harapan as well as efforts from within PKR itself.

"Hence, I suggested to him (Fakhrulrazi) to join PKR with this objective in mind," he said.


However, Saari said he had reminded Fakhrulrazi (above) to meet Amanah president Mohamad Sabu to relay his intention to join PKR.

When contacted, Fakhrulrazi confirmed that he had met Saari several weeks ago to discuss him quitting Amanah.

Meanwhile, Saari told Malaysiakini that he would issue a statement to further explain his suggestion to Fakhrulrazi.

Sources within Amanah had told Malaysiakini that while the party leadership remained committed to Anwar's leadership, it held its door open to Mahathir.

Mohamad was in the spotlight after he was said to have met Mahathir and Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah last month to discuss a unity government.

Saari, who is Hulu Kelang assemblyperson, is among those in Amanah who was speculated to join PKR but he had dismissed the speculation.

Others in Amanah who were speculated to join PKR were Morib assemblyperson Hasnul Baharuddin and Amanah vice-president Husam Musa. Both had refuted the speculations.

Before Fakhrulrazi, Sabak assemblyperson Ahmad Mustain Othman had left Amanah and joined PKR.

*********

kt notes:

In the final analysis, t'was Amanah top leadership's proclivity for Mahathir to lead Pakatan into the Old Man's 3rd PM-ship that made Amanah's grassroots restless. Obviously the grassroots must be wondering why its top leaders are so stupid as to support a treacherous old man. Suckers for more treacherous punishment?

As I have often posted, notwithstanding Amanah leaders' current professed preference for Anwar, they had (who knows, maybe still have in their hearts) indicated their support for Mahathir rather than Anwar - especially by Khalid Samad, though I've to say Mat Sabu was a bit nebulous in his preference.


Was that earlier Amanah preference for Mahathir influenced by the DAP top leadership's preference for Mahathir too?

We have been aware that Lim Father & Chye-Chye have both coyly distanced themselves from Anwar, even to the disgraceful mercenary extent of saying the DAP's support for Anwar would be conditional upon Anwar having the "numbers" (to overthrow Muhyiddin). And what kind of support will that be, if not similar to UMNO frogs leaping into Mahathir's hands post May 2018.

Was such a DAP condition (namely, only if Anwar has the "numbers") ever mentioned or even made in those earlier years before Mahathir came on the scene to make the Lims infatuated with him?

I am just disgusted by the DAP top dogs - their taste of 'rule' under Mahathir have "muddled" (I'm being polite here) their adherence to their own party ideology. Wish our late Karpal was still around.


And I wouldn't be surprised if Amanah's earlier preference (demonstrated strongly and several times at that by Khalid Samad) had been influenced by the Lims.

And thus it's little wonder that the grassroots in Amanah, already frustrated by a treacherous old man who abruptly and selfishly abandoned the Pakatan cabinet for his own sinister agenda without so much as a warning to his then Pakatan colleagues, ta'bolih tahan lagi at their dumbo masochistic party leaders, resulting in the recent defection of Mohd Fakhrulrazi and Ahmad Mustain Othman earlier, and perhaps even more soon to come.

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

- Baron Acton


Nur Jazlan: Annuar Musa ‘sudah mati’ dalam Umno

FMT:

Annuar ‘sudah mati’ dalam Umno, kata Nur Jazlan


Timbalan Pengerusi Umno Johor, Nur Jazlan Mohamed menyifatkan Annuar Musa sebagai figura yang ‘sudah mati’, manakala veteran parti Shahrir Samad menyifatkan kenyataan setiausaha agung BN itu sebagai luar biasa (Gambar Facebook)

PETALING JAYA: Timbalan Pengerusi Umno Johor, Nur Jazlan Mohamed menyifatkan Annuar Musa sebagai figura yang “sudah mati” dalam perjuangan Umno.

“Dia ‘dah mati’ dalam Umno tetapi tak mahu lompat ke Perikatan Nasional (PN),” katanya ringkas kepada FMT.


kedudukan (atau pendirian) Annuar Musa
dikiri UMNO, dikanan PN 😁😁😁

Beliau mengulas kenyataan setiausaha agung Barisan Nasional itu yang menegaskan Umno perlu sedar diri dan tidak berhak mempersoalkan layanan diterima parti itu dalam Kabinet Muhyiddin Yassin.

Dalam satu wawancara bersama Ketua Penerangan Umno Shahril Hamdan anjuran Umno Online kelmarin, Annuar juga mendakwa segelintir ahli dalam parti itu sudah lupa, Umno adalah parti yang kalah dan sudah jatuh.

Di sebalik sindiran daripada pemimpin Umno itu, Shahrir Samad selaku veteran parti menyifatkan kenyataan Annuar itu sebagai luar biasa kerana dikeluarkan setiausaha agung BN, dan bukannya pemimpin PPBM atau PAS.

Ketua Umno Bahagian Johor Bahru itu berkata tajuk berita seperti itu sememangnya selalu lebih sensasi berbanding kandungannya bagi menarik minat pembaca.

“ ‘Umno kena sedar diri, kata Annuar Musa’. Ini macam cerita biasa sahaja, saya terfikir. Hanya yang luar biasa kali ini ialah ia pendapat Annuar Musa dan bukan lagi pendapat pemimpin muda PPBM atau PAS.

“Annuar menghuraikan bahawa pada PRU15, BN hanya ada 2 pilihan, iaitu pertama, bersendirian, atau ke-2, berpakat bersama PN,” katanya.


serupa Tuk dan Chye-Chye, 'kan?
 


Bekas ahli Parlimen Johor Bahru itu berkata, Annuar hanya mementingkan matlamat politik berbanding asas perjuangan parti.

“Sebelum dibangkitkan ‘matlamat politik’ dalam kalangan kepimpinan tertinggi parti, apa sebenarnya keputusan kepimpinan?

“Bukankah lebih waras memuktamadkan keputusan sebelum mencemuh parti sendiri seolah-olah kepimpinannya ‘tidak sedar diri’ yang kononnya PAS akan ‘pertahankan’ PN dan hanya akan ‘memperkasakan’ MN.

“Kalau belum ada keputusan, lebih baik bagi Annuar sebagai Setiausaha Agung BN tidak mendahului, malah tidak mencampuri, urusan sebuah parti komponen BN, iaitu Umno, yang tidak pernah pun memperkasakannya.”

Beliau berkata, semua pihak ketika ini hanya mampu menyaksikan sama ada Presiden Umno, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi mempunyai matlamat politik untuk memperbetulkan situasi itu.

“Apa pun, kita tengok sahaja lah sama ada Zahid, selaku Presiden Umno dan Pengerusi BN, mempunyai ‘political will’ membetulkan keadaan.”

Dalam pada itu, Naib Presiden Umno, Mohamed Khaled Nordin yang dihubungi FMT tidak mahu mengulas lanjut mengenai perkara itu, namun berkata ia akan diselesaikan secara dalaman.

“Biar kita urus dalaman,” katanya ringkas.


Podah to the man who eff-ed Pakatan

Malaysiakini:



ADUN SPEAKS | Let us say farewell to Mahathir for the misery he has caused

by P Ramasamy

ADUN SPEAKS | I am not sure where to start and where to end with former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Even at this age, when most people would have retired, he continues to be the talk of Malaysians.

What is most interesting, or annoying, is the fact that he thinks that he is the most appropriate prime minister for Malaysia. Never mind the damage he did during his first time in office and his recent second term where he betrayed the Pakatan Harapan coalition by resigning from his post.

Whether one admits or not, the seeds of political, economic and social decay were sowed and nurtured during his term in office.

Racial and religious polarisation reached its height during his term and has continued under other prime ministers.

His second term in office was a big mistake, for which Harapan had to pay dearly in the form of betrayals and treachery; resulting in the resignation of Mahathir and the ultimate putsch by the present backdoor government.

From the start, the overt and covert political manoeuvrings of Mahathir prevented the ascension of PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.

Mahathir’s narcissist tendencies know no bounds.

He has always given the impression that he was a gift to Malaysian politics.

He could do no wrong. However, if wrongs were pointed out, either he cannot remember, or they were someone else's fault.

Harapan would not have agreed to him becoming the prime minister, had he not accepted the fact that Anwar would succeed him after two years.

Mahathir had gone public a few times while he was in office to affirm that Anwar would be his successor.

Anwar naively believed him and behaved accordingly.

Little did he know that Mahathir was hatching conspiracies and betrayals to oust him from assuming the post.

Who gave the inspiration for conspirators like Muhyiddin Yassin and Azmin Ali to think of a strategy to oust Anwar? What was the extent of Mahathir’s involvement?

The formation of an alternative government might not have surprised Mahathir, but the tie-up with some corrupted Umno leaders possibly angered him.

This was the reason for his resignation as the prime minister of the Harapan government.

His subsequent call for a unity government was nothing but an attempt to equip himself with dictatorial powers of appointment and decision making.

Mahathir had lost his credibility with his resignation and the feeble attempt to form a unity government.



In his heydays, Anwar with the ultimate sight at the post of prime minister joined Umno with the encouragement of Mahathir.

This was his first political mistake for which he had to pay in terms of being sacked from the government and jailed on certain trumped-up charges.

Anwar’s second mistake was to reconcile with Mahathir by agreeing to be the prime minister if Harapan won the 2018 general election.

Harapan won the election, but Mahathir never intended to keep his promise.

Now Mahathir is talking about Anwar being not suitable as a prime minister because he failed as finance minister in the late 1990s.

Well, if Mahathir can miserably fail twice as the prime minister of the country, at least Anwar should have been given the opportunity to prove himself as an effective leader.

If he fails, unlike Mahathir, he would have no one to blame but himself.

Why say that Anwar is not capable when he is not the prime minister of the country in the first place.

Yet, Mahathir finds the time to blame Anwar for not working with him to get the numbers for Harapan to take power.

Anwar is the choice of Harapan. He might not be the best choice, but under the present circumstances, he is the best.

Mahathir cannot stomach the fact that Anwar might be a serious contender for the position.

Why should Anwar join up with Mahathir for the third time in the political history of the country?

If Anwar did this, he is nothing but a fool.



Pejuang has hardly three MPs, yet Mahathir has not given up the vaulting ambition to become the prime minister.

In other words, he is coming back to square one, asking Anwar to cobble the numbers and to make him the prime minister for six months.

Six months might be enough for Mahathir with his evil designs to banish Anwar from the political scene forever.

As there is no clarity as to how the political scene will unfold with the “apartheid” budget hanging in the air, Mahathir has nothing to offer for Harapan to move forward.

As for Anwar, he should disengage from making promises of political takeover if numbers are not in sight.

Umno might not be exactly a trustworthy ally in times of need.

Finally, let us say goodbye to Mahathir for the misery he has caused all these years.



P RAMASAMY is the state assemblyperson for Perai. He is also deputy chief minister (II) of Penang



Tok Guru never sought to regulate alcohol sales for non-Muslims

Malaysiakini:



MP SPEAKS | Tok Guru never sought to regulate alcohol sales for non-Muslims

by Mohamed Hanipa Maidin

MP SPEAKS | It is unconstitutional, my friends.

The new ruling or guideline introduced by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) on the liquor licence prohibiting all sundry shops and convenient stores from selling liquors commencing on Oct 1, 2021, has caused tremendous uproars.

Some people express their utter dismay by asking: “Is our country being held to ransom by religious bigotry?”

To add salt to the injury, the deputy minister for religious affairs was reported to have said that the government has not ruled out the possibility of expanding the ban to all sundry shops, groceries, convenient stores and Chinese medicine shops across the country.

Being a Muslim, I am convinced that liquor is forbidden by my religion. But I am equally convinced that the prohibition shall never be extended to our non-Muslim friends. Therein lies the sanctity of freedom of religion, duly cherished by Islam.

It seems that the government has hard times in trying to justify the introduction of the aforesaid mind-boggling guideline by saying that such a guideline is merely a form of controlling or regulating the sale of liquor.

Truth be told, I wonder, how on earth can a total prohibition be considered a form of regulating?

Having said that, let us begin our deliberation on this issue by looking at the black letters of our highest law of the land i.e. the Federal Constitution.

Being a minister or a deputy ministers cum MPs, the said relevant members of the current administration have duly taken an oath agreeing to defend and protect the supremacy of the constitution. Are they now reneging on such a sacred oath?

Article 11 of the Federal Constitution categorically guarantees the fundamental right of all persons (even to non-citizens) to freedom of religion. All persons in this country are supposed to enjoy such freedom without any justified and lawful restrictions.

The right to freedom of religion is so vital in that no restriction to such rights, let alone a blanket prohibition, shall even be entertained during an emergency. This solemn affirmation was duly pronounced by the then supreme court - the highest court in Malaysia - in the celebrated case of Joshua Jamaluddin.

Just like Muslims, the non-Muslims in this country are absolutely free to practice their own religion. This guarantee is duly enshrined in the said Article 11 of our Federal Constitution.



Dealing with liquors - consuming, drinking, selling and buying - by non-Muslims, is considered to be part and parcel of such religious practices. Be that as it may, it can't be restricted let alone banned or absolutely forbidden.

Is it true or correct for a government to argue that the guideline imposed by DBKL is merely aimed at regulating the sale of alcohol?

With due respect, I find such a lame excuse, unduly canvassed by the government minister, is at best amusing and at worst preposterous.

Yes, regulating the sale of liquor may be constitutionally justified. For instance, the guideline may stipulate certain conditions in respect of selling the alcohol.

The guideline, for example, may impose a restriction by disallowing the sale of liquor to any non-Muslims who are of tender years. Such a partial restriction may be constitutionally allowable as it is merely a form of regulating the sale of alcohol even to non-Muslims.

The ultimate effect of such a restriction, in my view, would not render their right to buy or sell alcohol to outrightly and completely vanish.

On the other hand, the present guideline imposed by DBKL is far from merely regulating the sale of alcohol per se. The guideline plainly seeks to impose a total prohibition of the sale of liquor in all sundry shops and convenient stores.

Yes, therein lies the problem. Therein lies the obvious infringement of the Federal Constitution.

Such a total prohibition would definitely have a tremendous effect of rendering the exercise of non-Muslims' right to practice their own religion as mockery and illusory. Hence, it is unconstitutional. Period.

Finally, it is so unfortunate that the statements championing the total prohibition of the sale of liquor in certain shops are coming from both leaders from Kelantan.

Are they really aware that even the learned and pious Muslim in Kelantan such as the late Tok Guru (Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat) did not even seek to issue any total ban of the sale of alcohol by and to non-Muslims?



MOHAMED HANIPA MAIDIN is the Sepang MP

Patriot rubbishes DBKL liquor ban as infringement of non-Muslim rights

MM Online:

Patriot rubbishes DBKL liquor ban as infringement of non-Muslim rights


Bottles of liquor are seen for sale at a convenience shop in Kuala Lumpur November 19, 2020 — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 — Veterans’ group Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan (Patriot) has condemned the recent decision by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to ban the sale of liquor in sundry shops, grocery stores and convenience stores, calling it “unnecessary and ridiculous”.

Its president Brigadier General Datuk Mohamed Arshad Raji (Rtd) also took Deputy Religious Affairs Minister Ahmad Marzuk Shaary to task, after the latter said yesterday that the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government has not ruled out extending the ban to other states.

“The public could see through that it was a tactic of testing for height all the way since last June when Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa made the call to the government to stop issuing liquor licenses,” he said in a statement.

Arshad urged Ahmad Shaary and his fellow leaders in PAS to not make a mockery of their earlier promises that non-Muslims would not be subjected to regulations pertaining to Islam and Islamic affairs, and that they could consume non-halal food so long as their religion permits it.

“Otherwise public perception of their hypocrisy will only worsen. If curbing of liquor sale is because of drink-driving, there are better ways to tackle the problem.

“The approach must be an all-inclusive consultation including the business community, not merely with a show-making select group,” he said.

Arshad further argued that if matters of health are the issue in question, the authorities should know there are many other food and beverages that are worse for health compared to beer and mild liquor.

“It is not Patriot’s business to promote any alcoholic drink. But upholding social justice and the value of righteousness, encouraging fair business practices, and voicing up against bullying tactic; are within the bounds of our business.

“Our Malaysian society had existed for generations. We have been a multi-racial and a multi-religious nation living in tolerance, understanding and mutual respect among the three major races,” he said.

The retired brigadier-general also said that politicians must be reminded of the ramifications of their decision to curb liquor sales and not issuing licenses.

“These include jobs, small businesses, transport, restaurants, hotels, tourism, and our national income. Also, others might see our leaders as Taliban-like.

“We would like to ask the pious Ahmad Shaary to tell us which is more evil — drinking liquor or corruption. Which is more damaging to our society and nation? Which evil attracts the Malay most?” he questioned.

Similarly, Arshad also extended the question to Annuar, asking both leaders to decide whether banning liquor or eradicating the scourge of corruption among Malay-Muslims is more important.

DBKL’s decision, announced on Tuesday, is set to come into force on October 1 next year. The ban also applies to traditional Chinese medicine halls or herbalist stores, with an exemption on pure or mixed liquor products which are used and sold for medicinal purposes.

Ahmad Shaary’s remarks also saw him defending DBKL’s decision by citing the positive feedback from civil society, including Muslims and non-Muslims, on implementing the ban.


Looks like PAS minister intends to increase interference on non-Muslim affairs

Malaysiakini:



Govt won't rule out expansion of liquor sale ban - deputy minister

The government has not ruled out the possibility of expanding the ban on the sale of liquor at sundry and grocery shops, convenience stores as well as Chinese medicine shops, to other states, besides the Federal Territories.

Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Ahmad Marzuk Shaary said that he welcomed the latest ruling of Federal Territories Minister Annuar Musa via the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) in disallowing liquor sale in these shops from October next year.

He said the matter not only involved religious demands, but it also received positive feedback in general from civil society including Muslims and non-Muslims.

“Currently, the ban is only applicable to the Federal Territories, but we do not rule out the possibility that it will be expanded to other places.

“We also received positive comments and views from the community even though there were few who voiced their disagreement,” he said.

He said this to reporters after presenting house key to a single mother Rashidah Semail, 48, under the Malaysian Islamic Economic Development Foundation (Yapeim) ’s MyHaus Inspiration Programme’s in Kampung Parang Puting, Pengkalan Chepa in Kota Bahru today.

Ahmad Marzuk said that Malaysia is slightly behind in terms of controlling the sale of liquor.

“If we look at our neighbouring country such as Singapore, it has stricter rules involving several restrictions. However, this is a very good start even though it is only implemented in the Federal Territories thus far.

“Hence, this is part of the government’s holistic strategy that needs to be supported by all citizens regardless of religion, race and political affiliation. This is not a political agenda,” he said.

***

Meanwhile, MM Online:

Sundry, medicine shop proprietors see gloomy days ahead following DBKL’s liquor sale ban next year


An employee stands in front of liquor bottles in a convenience shop near Sentul November 19, 2020 — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 22 — Chinese medicine and sundry shop proprietors are anticipating dark days ahead over the latest liquor sales restriction imposed by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) that will see their dwindling revenue further diminish.

Malay Mail went around the city and spoke to some of these proprietors who foresee a huge drop in revenue when the regulation kicks in on October 1, 2021.

DBKL’s proposed new guideline states that sundry shops, convenience stores and Chinese medicine shops in Malaysia’s capital city will no longer be allowed to sell hard liquor except for traditional medicine purposes from that date.

This comes as the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall warned last week that restricting liquor sales at convenience stores will hurt small businesses, who are still reeling from the Covid-19 pandemic’s effects.

Law Fook Seng, the proprietor of Kedai Ubat dan Runcit Kim Loy, described the new guideline as one of the “harshest” imposed to date.

“Surely affected. Our business is sure to be affected and our regular customers will be inconvenienced because they come to us for their needs due to the trust we built over the years,” he said.

His shop in Taman Midah, Cheras has been operational since 2001.

Law said business is already difficult to run at the moment due to the pandemic and the government’s conditional movement control order (CMCO), adding that he is barely able to stay afloat by selling necessities which has allowed him to retain most of his customers.

He said it is unacceptable for the authorities to adopt a “one-size-fits-all approach” which did not provide a choice for business owners.

The new guideline would definitely affect small-time sundry shop owners in residential areas with their goods that are usually priced a bit lower than at supermarkets, resulting in smaller profit margins.

“My margins are very small and I would say 20 per cent of my sales come from selling alcohol.
This ban will affect my business deeply, and our income will drop quite a lot,” said Kedai Runcit Yen Chong Hong proprietor Chow Yin Ching at his shop in Kepong.

“Ten to 20 per cent of the shop’s income is from selling alcohol because in this area there aren't many that sell liquor.”


S. Rajan shows the liquor sold at his convenience shop in Kuala Lumpur November 19, 2020 — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

In Sentul, S. Rajan who has worked at Vijaya Store for the past eight years, said the ban is unfair and will bring about uncertainty to the shop’s future.

“That’s not fair because half of our business d
epends on liquor... so if you stop us, what are we going to do?” he told Malay Mail.

Rajan said Covid-19 has already cut the store’s sales up to 30 per cent and doubts there will be enough income for the store’s owner to pay rent and workers’ salaries if they cannot sell alcohol.

“Even we might get retrenched,” a flustered Rajan said, referring to himself and the other employees.

DBKL has already come under fire from critics who call the new proposed regulation an infringement on minority rights.

Beer will still be allowed to be sold at these premises, although only between 7am to 9pm, and placed away from other beverages.

The ruling also states that business premises that sell liquor cannot be in front of police stations, places of worship, schools and hospitals.


Bottles of liquor that are being sold are seen in a convenience shop in Kuala Lumpur November 19, 2020 — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

At present, businesses that are allowed to sell liquor include restaurants, pubs, bars, hotels, commercial complexes, warehouses, supermarkets, hypermarkets as well as promotional activities that serve liquor.

DBKL had previously in June announced a freeze on all new applications for licences to sell alcohol with immediate effect.

The latest announcement has, not unexpectedly, received praise from Islamists, including PAS which said that it is a timely move and the Federal Territories should learn from Kelantan’s tight regulations on alcohol sale which has been in place for decades.

Meanwhile, the Selangor and Kuala Lumpur Wine and Spirit Chinese Dealers Association has reportedly said that the restrictions will not only negatively impact them but also the government’s coffers.

Yesterday, Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Ahmad Marzuk Shaary said it was possible the restriction would be expanded nationwide.