Malaysiakini
OPINIONS

COMMENT | Beer debate: Extremists drunk on toxicity

S Thayaparan

Published
Modified 8 Apr 2020, 12:19 am

In order to be a part of the totalitarian mindset, it is not necessary to wear a uniform or carry a club or a whip. It is only necessary to wish for your own subjection, and to delight in the subjection of others.

- Christopher Hitchens

COMMENT | Revoking the operating rights of beer brewers Heineken Malaysia Bhd and Carlsberg during the movement control order (MCO) period because of instigation by religious extremists is another example of the toxic religiosity that permeates this government.

I have used the quote that opens this piece before. It clearly articulates the mindset of religious extremists – of any religion – to control the polity, especially religiously diverse ones. After all, what is the point of religious supremacy, if you cannot demonstrate the superiority of your religion?

Keep in mind that demonstrating the superiority of your religion never involves feats of intellectual prowess in a market place of ideas, but rather the brute application of state-sanctioned force in the curtailing of an individual or collective rights.

The whole point of revoking the operating directive was not that it saves lives or consistency of polices. I am sure the preventive and health security measures of these places are far better than that of religious gatherings, not just because of the profit motive, but rather to demonstrate to the base that religious and racial prerogatives are “championed” by political operatives who do not have any other policy initiatives or policy successes to...

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