Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Danger in our midst against freedom of choice

This editorial from The Malaysian Insider resonates so much with my feelings that I produce it here, chapter and verse, for your reading pleasure


The freedom of choice — The Malaysian Insider

It really isn’t about beer. It is about freedom of choice.

The choice of a shopkeeper to sell anything and everything permitted by the laws of the land. The choice of a consumer to choose to buy anything sold in a shop.

As it is a choice to choose which ever political party that represents your views. Or not choose a political party that is an affront to your views. It is as simple as that and the reason for elections, for everyone in a democracy to vote in a government of their choice with the majority getting their choice.

And thus, the seizure of beer from a 7-Eleven convenience outlet in Selangor is against the law. It has nothing to do with religion. Are Muslims so weak-willed that the mere presence of beer on sale will turn them against their faith?

That is as ridiculous as the idea that being sprayed with holy water from a Roman Catholic Church will turn a Muslim into a non-Muslim.

Politicians can jump on the bandwagon, preach from the pulpit, scream in the streets and protest for and against the sale of beer but that really is a just a symptom of the main issue — choice.

But the PAS lawmakers are not alone at this, in restricting choice.

The Selangor Barisan Nasional government did the same years ago, when the Roman Catholic Church applied for a piece of land to build a cathedral in Shah Alam in 1977. They got a plot of land in Section 24 eight years later when the previous Sultan of Selangor queried “if non-Muslims ever pray” as he rarely saw temples and churches in his state.

However, the Shah Alam Municipal Council halted the construction in August 1993 on orders from then-mentri besar Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib who queried the need for a cathedral. The church was finally re-sited after two more attempts and opened in 2005.

It all boils down to the freedom of choice to worship the Almighty in any way one deems fit. And it took the sultan to get the government of the day to ensure his citizens enjoyed that right.

Does it take a sultan, who is unelected and holds a hereditary position, to figure out the desires of the people? Of what use then are the politicians who court us during election campaigns with promises of reforms, rights and rosy futures.

Where does it stop if they can claim majority rights and religious reasons to stop Malaysians from having a place to worship, from stopping people from selling or buying what is legal?

Why do they waste time on trivialities like this when the bigger issues of corruption and a slowing economy should be the focus?

Perhaps because they have a choice of issues to work on. Perhaps they forget Malaysians too have a choice every election.


  1. Those who preach falsehood , false teachings and false religion , will be receiving their sentences very soon . This includes the First Assembly Of God or Born Again Christians who preach all animals have no soul , That those who worship idols are are devil worshipers and those who do not worship Christ as their saviour shall all be condemn to hell .

    Let's wait and see ... who goes to hell first .

  2. err ummm kat johor's south island, melayu ok je meminum dan memakan kat kedai2 cina... takdepun JAIS nak tangkap

  3. During the Thai Buddhist New Year ( SongKran ) there are many Malaysian Malays of the Muslim faith enjoying themselves .Is this also haram?
    Shall we ban this?

    When the Malaysian PM visited the White House , is it haram to join a toast? Of course the PM will claim that he sips Ribena while the President sips wine.
    Shall we ban this as well?

    Isn't it is haram for MAS to serve alcoholic beverages while flying thousands of feet up in the air?
    Do we need to ban MAS?

    People must have the freedom to select and to choose.
    Banning alcohol sales wont helps.
    But alcohol and tobacco sales can be limited.

  4. "But alcohol and tobacco sales can be limited."

    Tobacco? Never been an issue! Some PAS bloggers such as Tulang Besi try to paint this issue as being a child protection issue... a lot of brouhahah over a 7-11 that sold some liquor to some minors. It seems like a noble cause until you ask him how he feels about underage smoking, and if one should apply the same controls to smoking as he is proposing for liquor.

    So what was his response to this suggestion to tackle cigarettes the same way as alcohol? He never even touched it. Never responded, never even mentioned cigarettes.

    Because it's not a problem as far as he's concerned. Although he repeated many times that his concern was underage drinking, this has never really been about underage drinking. It just gets under his skin that Malaysia, in his opinion a MUSLIM COUNTRY, has too much alcohol available.

    But then deep down inside we already knew that was the real issue from the beginning, right? The attempt to hide behind children was a pretty thin veil.

  5. A few quotes on democracy:

    "Governments exist to protect the rights of minorities. The loved and the rich need no protection: they have many friends and few enemies."

    - Wendell Philips

    "The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority."

    - Ralph Sockman

    "Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth."

    - Mahatma Gandhi

  6. Tobacco? Never been an issue! Some PAS bloggers such as Tulang Besi try to paint this issue as being a child protection issue...

    What about children without licences riding motorbikes , without crash helmets and carrying passengers !
    What about children enjoying glue sniffing ?
    What about children engaging in sex ?
    What about children smoking ? Stealing ?

  7. Do you think running a country like Malaysia is anything but easy? The whole article above is about asking the majority to change their mindset and values. But then again, are alcohols that difficult to sought and consume even with the many "draconian" rules ordained in this country. It is not that the minority is being curtailed or restricted in the purchase of rice, water or salt- but alcohol! But lo..in the name of democracy prevent me not in my desire to have everything that I want. Tough luck, but your idealism will remain as such and you have to live with it.

  8. In this country those draconian politicians using the name of religion to stay on power, they introduce all kind of restrictions (in the name of religion), not just tied up your hand and leg but also your mind, so that you can't think logically anymore. And you become stupid, you don't know how to reason and you just follow instruction (in the name of religion), so they can continue to fool you and swidle billions of our country's wealth, and stay in power for as long as they want.
    What price to pay, in the name of religion!