May 22 — Drink up mate, before 7-Eleven gets you! Diabolical as it may sound, the leading convenience store franchise has come out strong in support of using its employees to cut beer supply to Muslims in Selangor.
In what is as apparent effort to win brownie points with Pakatan Rakyat coalition member PAS, Mentri Besar risks raising the ire of the many who loathe to have government overreach.
The company has been around for a long time, but the demise of the traditional provision shop in urban areas has seen the viral proliferation of the stores. They are ubiquitous across the Klang Valley, and night-outs inadvertently brings you to a 7-Eleven at some point.
The company has placed stickers in its stores saying Muslims can’t buy beer, but now they are willingly taking the next step to demand ICs in order to exclude Muslim buyers.
The ethical question here is, what has my countrymen — Muslim or not — drinking beer has got to do with the state.
Underage drinking is frowned upon and I welcome ID checks to prevent it. Drunk driving endangers lives, and strong enforcement is great. Alcoholism destroys a person’s well-being, and therefore education, engagement and social services are necessary.
The choice of social drinking is not the government’s place to regulate.
In a time where sober states like Utah are increasing alcohol sale possibilities as a means to increase state coffers, it is awkward for Malaysia to move the other way.
Granted alcohol tax is federal and not state, so my state does not enjoy the funds from it; but the industry is an economic generator, with the main breweries located in Selangor.
This is the government I put my full support behind, and I would like to appeal to those leading this move to reduce access to beer in Selangor, that there is a silent majority which is does not advocate these measures.
Most Selangor residents — Muslims and not — prefer to let individuals choose their lifestyles. There is enough space for the religious right to make their case to the populace — mosques, schools and media. If the message is does not reach your constituents, maybe they have made up their minds.
Stopping them from purchasing in 7-Elevens is degrading and presumptuous.
The word is so self-explanatory that the inability of the many to perceive it for what it is, confounds me. It just means people are different.
Yet there is a view to reduce it, or even hide it.
Personal choices reflect the personal developments of individuals, and you cannot regulate personality.
It is no coincidence nations that defend personal choices are also the best-liked nations, and lure the brightest and the young — our young and our brightest not excluded.
It is a bit hypocritical of our state government to argue that it is more inclusive than BN when there is less tolerance for personal choice.
I can’t change things just by writing, but I can use my wallet. I’ll not be frequenting any 7-Elevens in the near future, and I’ll ask all those who believe in the right to choose not to go there too. After all, this corporation actually thinks it gets to decide our values. Shame on them.