15 September, 2009


I refer to the statement yesterday by the de facto leader of Pakatan Rakyat Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) is prepared to discuss a plan by PAS Youth to propose guidelines on the sale of liquor in PR states but the PR leadership will have a final say in the matter.

I would like to express my disappointment on Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim that he had failed to out rightly reject the proposal by PAS Youth considering the nature and implication of the proposal, including the discrimination between Muslim majority and non-Muslim majority areas in the Pakatan Rakyat held states. He should not have given hope that may satisfy the unreasonable political aspiration of PAS Youth. Such a proposal would set a precedent to have different laws and regulations for Muslim majority area and discriminate areas in Malaysia based on religion.

The seriousness of the proposal by PAS Youth should not be ignored. Otherwise, the same consequences as seen in Selangor (when one of its EXCO from PAS made the same proposal), may arise in other PR states.

The so called “self-regulation” for sale of liquor in Muslim majority area in Selangor is no different from imposing regulation of the sale of liquor in Muslim majority area. In my view, “gazetted regulation” and “self regulation” are:-
(i) gazetted regulation is a clear cut published regulation by the government with clear cut implications if there is a breach of these regulations; and
(ii) self-regulations are unofficial government regulations with unclear implication if someone fails to adhere to the self-regulation. Perhaps, such “self regulation” is used when fearing of political implication or lash back should it be made official.

To date, Selangor under PKR have failed to guarantee that there would be no penalty or disadvantage should the business owners decide not to adhere to the self-regulations. Thus, the word “self regulation” is in fact no difference from actual regulation.

As such, I hope that Pakatan Rakyat leaders would give assurance that the so called self-regulations scheme in Selangor would not be imposed in other Pakatan Rakyat states, including Kedah and assurance that Pakatan Rakyat would not have different laws and regulations (including the so called “self regulations”) for areas based on religion.