Hadi wants all religions to back controls

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KUALA LUMPUR: Following the controversy over the hosting of the Oktoberfest beer festival, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang is seeking the support of all religions to back the controls it wants against such events.

Referring to the recent Oktoberfest event in Selangor, the PAS president said Islam and other religions did not condone its followers engaging in frivolous pleasures or immoral activities.

“Ask their priests and monks. I think they also would not agree. So we need to filter all this.

“I’m sure all religions would not agree to such immoral activities,” he said when attending a chat session in Gombak on Monday night — his first public appearance following the Selangor menteri besar impasse, in which the PAS Shura Council opposed the candidates for the post chosen by the party’s central committee.

Abdul Hadi said although non-Muslims were not barred from consuming alcohol, they still needed to take into account the sensitivities of Muslims and all other religions.

“So in instances where they are allowed to do certain things by their respective religions, there needs to be some control so that it does not touch on the sensitivities of Muslims as well as other religions that do not agree with what they do.

“There needs to be control,” he said.

The session on Monday night was attended by PAS Selangor commissioner Iskandar Samad and PAS Selangor information chief Mohd Zaidy Abdul Tabli, both of whom are in the Selangor exco lineup.

Abdul Hadi said Islam respected the rights of the followers of other religions to consume alcohol, but added that there must be certain conditions such as not selling it to Muslims.

“When Kelantan and Terengganu gave licences to non-Muslims to sell alcohol, our approach was on condition that they sell it among themselves and not to Muslims,” he said.

Iskandar, who is the exco member in charge of housing, building management and urban settlers, denied that the Pakatan Rakyat administration in the state gave approval for the Oktoberfest event.

“We never approved the festival,” he said.

It was reported that several DAP and PKR leaders attended the event held at 1Utama in Petaling Jaya last Friday.

They included DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, DAP publicity secretary Tony Pua, Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, PKR central committee member R Sivarasa, Bukit Gasing assemblyman R Rajiv and Damansara Utama assemblyman Yeo Bee Yin.

Also present was Selangor executive councillor member Elizabeth Wong, who said on her Facebook that about 5,000 people were at the festival and thanked the leaders who were present. — The Malaysian Insider

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on October 15, 2014.