PUTRAJAYA - Due to “security concerns”, police did not allow the Better Beer Festival to go on, said Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
The MCA president said during the Cabinet’s weekly meeting the authorities cited safety as one of the reasons for calling off the festival.
“I raised the issue in Cabinet and made it clear that if the event was cancelled due to political grounds, then we could not accept that reasoning.
“But we were told that the cancellation was due to security concerns,” Liow told reporters at his ministry here yesterday.
“However, as the authorities have security concerns, we have to acknowledge it. They are the ones who ensure our safety,” he added.
But Liow said the authorities did not elaborate on what the “security concerns” were.
“The Opposition is more concerned about political mileage from this issue. They want to make it seem as if the Government does not allow the people to enjoy drinking beer. This is not true,” he said.
The cancellation of the craft beer festival, originally scheduled for Oct 6-7 at Publika Shopping Gallery in Kuala Lumpur, became a Cabinet matter after the issue received mixed reaction from the public.
Last Monday, the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) said it had rejected the organisers’ application to hold the event after receiving an application for a permit on Aug 28.
The DBKL announcement came a week after PAS central committee member Dr Riduan Mohd Nor spoke out against the event, calling it a “pesta maksiat” (vice party), claiming that it would turn Kuala Lumpur into the “largest vice centre in Asia”.
At a separate event, MCA Youth chief Datuk Chong Sin Woon said it was ridiculous to blame MCA for the cancellation and suggested that MPs and Selangor state assemblymen meet DBKL to discuss the matter.
MCA Public Services and Complaints Bureau chairman Datuk Jason Teoh said DAP’s empowerment of PAS had led to the decision that robbed the rights of non-Muslims.
“PAS, which was empowered by Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng over the last two general elections, does not only find itself in the kingmaker position gearing towards the next general election, but also capable of influencing decisions like this.
“DAP has to shoulder the blame and accept that it is because of them that extremists have grown so powerful in the country.
“So, I urge DAP leaders to stop putting up an act to defend the rights of non-Muslims when their actions have led us to where we stand now,” Teoh said in a statement.