ALSO BY

By Jeg Hui

Stop trying to convert us non-drinkers

I refer to the letter Any alcohol ban is doomed to fail.

I am very surprised there are large numbers of people in support for alcoholism. I am living with the English people and they have a very strong beer-drinking culture so are these Malaysians trying to adopt this kind of 'healthy' culture from England just to look 'cool'?

Almost every Thursday here (England) there will be a drinking session (some call it ‘Happy Hour’ in Malaysia) at about 4 pm and, yes, I do join them whenever possible. My drink? Non-alcoholic cider, Coca-Cola or Non-alcoholic cocktails.

Do they find me weird for not drinking? Probably not. After I told them I don't drink alcohol.

Do I get their respect? Yes. Because I was being honest and strong-willed when comes to practicing my religion. They even said that it's good I don’t take alcohol because it's unhealthy.

These are the same people who have been drinking for thousands of years. And yet they concede it's unhealthy. Okay, other letters here might suggest the writers are atheists by suggesting that 'it's up to the individual to decide to drink or not'.

My decision not to drink was first based on the teaching of my religion, Islam, and as I grow older, I know alcohol is bad for everyone when consumed as drinks.

I have seen their faces, how some can be quite blunt, volatile, randy and aggressive when they are drunk. And I am supposed to accept the fact that he's drunk so that’s why he groped my girlfriend when dancing? Or raped my cousin?

Hell, no. They shouldn't drink in the first place. It's like people nowadays (many Malaysians included) are being in denial about the bad things about alcoholism simply because they love drinking it. They don't want anyone take their love away from them. Obvious, innit?

So, what about drugs? Ecstasy, syabu, marijuana (weed as they call it) are easily available now in the clubs in Malaysia. They make you feel good and they seem 'harmless', so you are saying its ‘up to the individual to decide’?

How about a 12-year old kid being introduced to smoking weed and he thought it was harmless. You just let him to decide? You don't need law-enforcement to ban drugs or alcoholic drinks to people like him?

Self-regulation, my foot!

Do you think the banning of cigarettes in convenience stores to under-18 actually works? These people are only interested with maximising profits.

Now, I am not suggesting a full ban on alcohol. Maybe there is a need of a certain law that will have the CCTV cameras to see if the stores are selling alcohol to Muslims and cigarettes to the under-18s. I think that’s the best we can do at the moment.

Oh, by the way, there is one thing missing from the Budget 2010. The increase in tax for ‘sin’ goods like alcohol and cigarettes.

In conclusion, I do not smoke and I do not drink because I think its unhealthy and I don't want my children to do them as well. I am not pious, an ‘ustaz’ or someone from PAS but I don't do alcohol because I believe there is Allah, I am a proud Muslim and I fully understand why it’s bad for everyone.

So stop trying to 'convert' us non-drinkers with your petty human rights approach to decide what is right or wrong. I do have the right to practice my religion and so does Kartika. Now that is human rights.

Beer-drinking is bad. 'Nuff said.