Support for beer festival from both sides of political divide (Updated)

GEORGE TOWN: DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has taken Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) to task over the ban on the Better Beer Festival.

Lim described the ban as going against the rights of non-Muslims in the country.

Commenting on a statement by the organisers that the festival was cancelled due to political sensitivity, Lim said there were no issues when Kuala Lumpur hosted the festival previously.

“This is a gross transgression of fundamental respect for the rule of law and civil liberties, especially for non-Muslims.

“If there is no full explanation for this, I think non-Muslims should feel offended and disturbed,” he told reporters here today.

Lim said the “politically sensitive” excuse was legally not valid and could be challenged in court.

“Where is it stated in law that you can reject an application on the basis that it is politically sensitive?”

It was reported on Monday that the organiser did not get the green light to host the event in Kuala Lumpur on Oct 6 and 7.

MCA central committee member Ti Lian Ker had earlier called on DBKL to be consistent and accountable with regard to the bureaucratic decision to reject the application for the festival.

Ti said DBKL could not arbitrarily reject the application and threaten to take action against the organiser without giving a proper account or reasons for the rejection.

Five MPs, from DAP and PKR, had also called for a review of the decision.

Tan Kok Wai, Teresa Kok, Fong Kui Lun, Lim Lip Eng and Tan Kee Kwong, expressed shock at the cancellation of the event as DBKL had not given any reasons to reject the application for a permit.

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.”