There seems to be a lot of ado about a non-problem. Is this a Malaysian company producing alcoholic beverages? No, because besides Timah there are many other alcohol brands produced in Malaysia.
Is it because the whiskey is called Timah, which means pewter in Malay? Is it because the product bears the image of Captain Speedy, a well-known Englishman from the Victorian era who played a big role in the history of tin mining in Malaysia?
Or is it because Timah won world accolades last year, but as a Muslim majority country we cannot be seen as excelling in the alcohol industry?
We have long been proud to be a multicultural society with people of various religious beliefs living side by side in harmony.
The majority of Malaysians have long espoused the values ââof moderation, with Muslims respecting the way of life of non-Muslims, and vice versa. This is why this controversy is so surprising.
We welcome the position of PAS Vice-President Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man. He made it clear by saying that regardless of the brand name or logo, alcohol is still âharamâ in Islam, but the right of non-Muslims to drink it must be taken into account.
This controversy must be ridiculous for him too, as he stressed that Timah is “not a Muslim name or even a person’s name”.
We reiterate that this is not a problem and that existing trade name and trademark laws are sufficient to regulate the issue.
We would also like to call on all Malaysians, leaders and citizens, to stand up for the values ââof moderation and prevent this debate from escalating into cries of racial and religious fanaticism.
GAN PING SIEU, Co-president Center for a Better Future (CENBET)