Beer Fest organiser throws in towel, MPs call for review of decision

PETALING JAYA: The beers won't be flowing at The Better Beer Festival as the organiser has not gotten the green light to host the event in Kuala Lumpur on Oct 6 and 7.

In a statement, MyBeer Malaysia said: "At our meeting with the officials at the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), we were instructed to cancel our event as there were issues with the licensing.

"We were further informed that the decision was made due to the political sensitivity surrounding the event.

"We regret any inconvenience caused to our patrons, partners and sponsors, and thank you for your unwavering support over the last week."

DBKL rejected the organiser's application to hold Malaysia's largest craft beer festival.

In a statement today, DBKL corporate communications director Khalid Zakaria said that it received the organiser's application to host the event on Aug 28 but decided to reject the application.

"The application for the activity at the place, time and date was not approved. If the organiser goes ahead with the event, DBKL can take action," he said.

The event was to be held at Solaris Damansara on Oct 6 and 7.

The rejection of the permit is believed to be due to objection by PAS to the event.

PAS central committee member Riduan Mohd Nor had called it a "vice festival". He said such events could turn Kuala Lumpur into Asia's vice centre.

He asked the authorities what guarantee they could give members of the public who did not participate "to ensure their safety from crime, free sex, rape and so on".

It was to have been the third time the event was held in Kuala Lumpur. It was held in Bukit Bintang in 2012 and the Publika Shopping Gallery in 2016.

Meanwhile, a news portal has reported that five Federal Territories MPs today called for a review of DBKL's decision.

"During the Chinese Community Patriotic Assembly, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak guaranteed the rights of all races. He also gave his guarantee that the rights of the Chinese will be protected," the five MPs said in a joint statement issued to the portal.

"We believe that by 'protecting the rights of all', it means that each race can practise their culture and this social contract was agreed to by all parties as enshrined in our 1957 Constitution and in the 1963 Malaysia Agreement.

"We regret that a local authority like DBKL is playing the role of a religious champion."

The five parliamentarians are Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai, Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok, and Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng from DAP, and Wangsa Maju MP Datuk Dr Tan Kee Kong from PKR.