DAILY LETTER: From Baljit Singh Gill
There has been much controversy over the Beer Festival 2017 held regularly in Malaysia over the past years, but has since been banned
It must be highlighted that over 250 different craft beers by 43 independent breweries across 12 countries would have been featured for the sixth time this year.
To know Malaysia is to love Malaysia, and what a way to go for Malaysia in terms of tourist arrivals and hotel bookings for the expected 6,000 people who would have attended.
Malaysia’s competitive tourism rankings will definitely improve in terms of tourism service and international openess.
There have been much written in honesty and straight from the heart on this subject, something very different from other topics.
Whether or not there will be trouble is mere speculation; nevertheless, it has caused a political drum roll.
Notwithstanding for security reasons, its all about tolerance and respecting people of other faiths in our multi-religious society.
All in a days work, most of my family members, cousins, uncles, friends and relatives occasionally drink, starting after work, some on weekends, during festivities, get togethers and the list goes on.
It has become a part and social practice for us to do so.
Yes, we do have habitual drinkers; but not the least causing any harm to others and to ourselves.
Alcohol may be man’s worst enemy, but never let the drink take you.
Of course, we often go beyond the point of sobriety, but we are never a threat to family, society or nation.
Isolated incidents do occur, but so does incest, rape, murder, drug abuse and the unthinkable burning of a religious school by a group of teenagers, who can rightly be our sons.
To all those who oppose the event, don’t feather your nest.
However, its a timely reminder to wear your vomit and beer-repellent sneakers.
In no time, we will be having “For Non-Muslim Only” signs and notices displayed throughout the country.
It will be another feather to our cap whilst our leaders advocate the country’s transformation policies and reform programmes, much to the envy of other countries.
By banning this annual festival isn’t going to stop people from drinking. Being creatures of habit, the numbers will still be there and will be growing.
So, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if this festival is not allowed to carry on. Our spirits will remain high.
Perhaps we have to see the bigger picture and quoting Socrates: “Worthless people live only to eat and drink, people of worth eat and drink to live”, whereby I prefer to be the latter.