No beer in any 7-Eleven here in Malaysia if you are a Muslim. Which is a breach of basic rights for any Malaysian – so I wonder what are the lucid reasons for a corporation in Malaysia to bar Malaysians from purchasing legal products?
No cashier is going to refuse your money – Muslim or not – but the idea of a sticker on the fridge door that says there is a “prohibition for Muslims” is a symbolic win for the Islamists.
Beer is a legal product in Malaysia, yet in more and more businesses are choosing to make a statement on this. Why? Is it in their commercial interest, or are they being compelled by state agencies to do so?
I doubt it is the latter, and it cannot be the former – so what is left?
I fear it might be a false sense of authority we have passed on to religious agencies in Malaysia, and allowing them to contain and control mass behaviour. It is almost like they do not have to persuade anyone, they just do. They almost have carte blanche powers it appears. Everyone cowers to their authority.
Many of us have different lifestyles, and it may not fit into the social construct planned for us by others. So are we free to live that different life?
In actual fact we do, it is just that we do it on the sly.
If you are culturally Malay, and you like beer, you’ll still be drinking. You just be drinking cautious in public places.
My contention is, why should you be?
You are a taxpayer, and you are paying for your product. Your tax-ringgit go to the administration of these religious agencies – should they not be serving you, and not the other way around?
Forcing natural rights
Man is born free yet everywhere he is in chains (Rousseau)
I never tire of saying the line. But the most important conception for any human is his right to be. Above everything else.
The basis of activating that freedom is in choice. If I can choose then I am free, in this mortal existence. My choices do not mean I get everything I want, but they do mean, before my choices are limited – they have to be justified to me.
The argument that ” we think beer is bad for you”, reduces the value of my right to choose on my own. This extends to everything else I can choose.
Business stick to business
7-Eleven and other businesses should focus on what they do best, their business. Religious agencies have no domain over them.
Arbitrary bans are discriminatory.
They also have to seek explanations from anyone seeking to make them place discriminatory policies in their premises or business. They have to consider if what is asked of them falls within the confines of Malaysian laws – not celestial ones.