Malaysia's 'Red Shirts' leader smashes crates of beer to protest booze festivals

Malaysia's 'Red Shirts' leader smashes crates of beer to protest booze festivals

Jamal Yunos beer
Jamal Yunos smashing crates of beer outside the SUK building. (Photo: Twitter/ SumishaCNA) 

SHAH ALAM, Malaysia: Jamal Yunos, the leader of Malaysia's right-wing "Red Shirts" movement, on Thursday (Oct 5) smashed crates of beer with a sledgehammer in protest of alcohol-related festivals in Selangor. 

Selangor, an opposition-held state run by the Pakatan Harapan, is in the spotlight for a series of planned beer-related events. 

Last month, a beer festival in Kuala Lumpur scheduled for Oct 6 and Oct 7 was blocked by authorities over security fears. 

The Better Beer Festival, which has been held annually for the past five years, was scrapped after Malaysian police cited intelligence reasons which aimed to sabotage the event. 

On Wednesday, Selangor's chief minister Azmin Ali said his administration has "never never opposed any alcohol-related festivals in the state as long as they comply with local regulations". 

Jamal and 10 of his supporters gathered outside the gates the Selangor state government building (SUK), where he was stopped by the security guards from entering the compound. He said wanted to deliver the crates of beer to Azmin, the New Straits Times (NST) reported. 

"Why am I not allowed to go in? I am not here to create a ruckus," said Jamal. "I am here to send these bottles of beverages to Azmin's office. I want to tell him not to encourage immoral and non-beneficial activities."

He reportedly added: "If they want to get drunk, do it at the SUK. Do not get drunk outside of the SUK. So if Azmin wants to drink, get drunk, or wants to die, (he can) do it in his office."  

Jamal then proceeded to break the 100 beer bottles from the ten crates he brought at the main entrance of the building.

Speaking to reporters earlier, Jamal said that the Selangor government should not encourage its people to party with alcohol. According to Jamal, he was only protesting against the festival and did not want to deny the rights of non-Muslim to drink. 

"Non-Muslims are free to drink beer," he said. "Drink as much as you want at home, in bars or at entertainment centres - and no one will stop you."

NST reported that he subsequently left the scene without a word after leaving the building's entrance littered with debris and spilled beer. 

An Oktoberfest event is also scheduled to take place in a Selangor mall later this month, but it is still unclear if authorities will allow the German beer festival to proceed.

Source: Bernama/CNA/ad