Saturday, 8 August 2009

Smoke On The Water - A Sobering Thought

The Hassan Ali beer debacle is the latest "tak masuk akal" issue by this PAS megalomaniac wannabe. He is full of crap and blows hot air. Since beer is essentially water (more than 95% by volume) and hot air also is a by-product of smoking, therefore the title of this post.

"Smoke on the water" is a Deep Purple 70s hit that seems to be a drug song (but is not). Well, not everything is what it seems (I am inclined to think Hassan Ali too) but speaking of drugs, has anyone looked at this nationwide scourge lately? Judging by 2006 UNICEF statistics (reported cases only), Hassan Ali better give up (on the) beer and turn his attention to this largely Malay problem (70% of reported drug abuse cases) rather than behave punched drunk in public. While he is at it he might as well start a jihad against smoking too. I wonder whether Hassan Ali smokes because the following blogpost by Dr Rafick is not only sobering and makes absolute sense; it should be savoured by all:

Hassan Ali – between cigarette and alcohol

1. It has been nearly two months since I went to Ulu Langat to visit my small fruits orchard. In Pekan Batu 14, I saw a big cloth banner near the mosque where it says “PAS menyokong tindakan MBSA” or in English “PAS supports MBSA Action” I supposed it has something to do with Hassan Ali latest caricature act where it attack Ronnie Liu action of interfering in MBSA action in confiscating some beer from some shops.

2. There are several sides of the issue that should be examined. Firstly, in my mind Hassan Ali action has embarrassed us Muslims with his shallow and narrow way of doing things.

3. Indirectly he had portrays that the Muslims are in this country are weak and has poor religious and health knowledge when it comes to alcohol consumption. His actions implied that Muslims especially in Shah Alam has no brains and cannot think for themselves and the only solution left is that to implement open banning.

4. Hassan Ali wanted alcohol to be banned in Muslim majority areas. How do we define a Muslim majority area and its boundaries? As a whole, on average 55% of the population are Muslims by birth. If we go by electoral boundaries or by geographical boundaries in Selangor, all areas are Malay (indirectly Muslims) dominated areas. But then many Malays are not strict and pious Muslims, hence I suspect there are not many Muslims dominated areas.

5. Does it mean that we have to deprive the interest of the 45% of the populations? Many Muslims and non Muslims do not consume alcohol because of health reasons. What we need to do is not banning the sales but to improved self discipline among the Muslim community. We need to do “more marketing” on why people should not consume alcohol instead of banning them.

6. Even in Kelantan where PAS holds its fort, alcohol is being sold. Liquor outlets are licensed. There has been no issue all along in Kelantan. Why is that? Hassan Ali motive is certainly questionable. If the Muslims in Kelantan can controlled themselves, there is no reason why Muslims elsewhere cannot do the same. The non Muslims there do not sell alcohol to Muslim as they know the impact of the law.

7. I am a Muslim by birth. I do not drink alcohol. The only beer I drink is A&W Root beer and F&N Ginger beer! I teach my children the reason why they cannot drink alcohol is because of its health impact first and next that it was also mention in the Quran. I told them that before beer existed, Allah already forbid the consumption of alcohol because it destroys the human body. It is the same with cigarette smoking.

8. If Hassan Ali is so concerned about the “Halal and Haram”, he should focus on a larger issue that is facing the Muslims in Selangor today. In Selangor, smoking cigarette is Haram but Muslims are puffing away like chimneys. I dare even say that they contribute to the haze that we are facing currently. Many PAS members and mosque committee members smokes openly but no one wants to do anything about this. I am not sure whether Hassan Ali is a smoker himself.

9. Smoking is major problem in Selangor and in Malaysia. It has a social and health impact and many studies have shown that it is predominantly high among the middle and lower income Muslims. It is a problem among Malay students in schools. In fact, if one goes to any mosque and analyze how many of the mosque office bearers are actually smokers; we will come out with a shocking discovery.

10. So, why is that MBSA is not confiscating cigarettes from 7-11 stores in Shah Alam? The religious laws are there and yet those with enforcing powers are not doing anything about it. Trade related laws are clear enough that selling cigarette and alcohol is allowed in this country and that is why cigarettes are not being confiscated. If that is the case, why discriminate against alcohol.

11. In my assessment, the interim decision by Khalid is certainly a wise one. In reality there are plenty of laws out there and MBSA officers must act within the boundaries of its law. There isn’t any need to create new laws. Whatever actions that we take we must show the superiority of our ability to think. A community irrespective of religion will be respected for its foresight and ability to think wisely. I hope the next time Hassan Ali open its mouth, he will not embarrassed us Muslims any further.