Former Armed Forces chief on liquor sales in KL shops: We must respect the rights of non-Muslims

KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 25): Former Armed Forces chief General (Rtd) Tan Sri Dr Hashim Mohd Ali does not support the ban on the sale of hard liquor at sundry, grocery shops, convenience stores and Chinese medicine shops in the city.

To make his point, he said in the armed forces, “the open purchase and drinking of liquor for non-Muslim officers from the Malaysian Armed Forces Trading Corp stores has never been a problem”, he told The Star.

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

"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 at these outlets," he told the daily.

"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 Covid-19 pandemic and after is further curbs to legitimate business activities," he added.

Hashim said the ban should “be rescinded” as it “could undermine the spirit of Rukun Negara, national unity and cultural harmony, as well as the diversity enjoyed by both Muslims and non-Muslims”.

City Hall (DBKL) announced earlier this month that that starting Oct 1 next year, all sundry and grocery shops, convenience stores as well as Chinese medicine shops in in the city cannot sell hard liquor.

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