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YOURSAY | Can't we just enjoy each other's festivals, Wan Fayhsal?

YOURSAY | 'Even though one may not drink beer, it doesn't mean others can't.'

Deputy unity minister defends Idris' Oktoberfest, Bon Odori remarks

Gerard Lourdesamy: If non-Muslims want to drink and party, that is their right provided they do not drink and drive or become drunk in public and cause a nuisance.

Why should the Muslims dictate to the non-Muslims who are 40 percent of the population what they can and cannot do? In Sarawak, the Christians are 50.1 percent of the population, can they dictate to the Muslims how to practice their faith and beliefs?

There is no blanket prohibition on drinking in Buddhism, Christianity and Hinduism and other non-Muslim religions. So why are Muslims offended by something they are not allowed to do in the first place? Or is their faith so weak that at the first sight of an alcoholic drink, they will commit a sin?

Oktoberfest is cultural in nature. Yes, it involves drinking. Nobody is asking Muslims to join in the celebration. So why should others be prevented from so doing?

The Constitution and Rukun Negara do not prohibit drinking. The religion of the federation is Islam but Islamic law does not apply to non-Muslims. Muslims should respect the rights of others if they do not want others to question their religious practices such as the public slaughter of cows.

What sort of unity minister promotes intolerance? We are not Afghanistan for the PAS ulama to dictate to non-Muslims. Frankly, the non-Muslims are sick and tired of this.

Mazilamani: Let us assume that Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Idris Ahmad and Deputy National Unity Minister Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal are truly concerned about the physical health of non-Malay-Muslims, which I think is fair, but shouldn't this fairness be extended to areas that cause lifetime stress for many non-Malay-Muslims, such as the intake into tertiary institutions, and employment and selection for higher posts in the civil service.

Do they ask non-Malay-Muslims how they manage to send children to private colleges and universities? With such heavy commitments, do these parents have time for drinking or attending Bon Odori?

Most non-Malay-Muslims are disciplined and responsible enough; they don't need policing by Idris Ahmad and Wan Fayhsal.

YellowCat1156: Yes, Idris, you have the right to express your opinion. And so does every commentator on Malaysiakini. Just as long as what you say does not become a law that oppresses non-Muslims.

As a Muslim, I disagree with celebrating Oktoberfest. But I believe that non-Muslims have the right to celebrate it in a multi-ethnic country like ours. As long as the celebration is restricted to them.

Max Fury: Idris is a cabinet minister. He is no ordinary folk. What he says as a minister carries weight.

Wan Ahmad Fayhsal should not dismiss what he says as only an individual’s opinion. What he says affects the country and the perception of the country by tourists and investors and expatriates. Faham tak? (Understand?)

Way To Go: Idris fails to grasp the basic principle of religion - acceptance and tolerance that dictates all religions.

Our secular Constitution is framed on the understanding that there shall be no compulsion and each community is given the freedom to practice their religion and culture without hindrance.

As such, using Islam as the religion of the federation to impose restrictions on minority communities is uncalled for and unconstitutional.

It should be left to the people to decide whether to celebrate Bon Odori or Oktoberfest. That is the spirit of our Constitution, though that may be alien to PAS.

Using Islam to oppress non-Muslims is an extension of the PAS concept of political Islam that seeks to disunite the people. That is not the Malaysian way.

Idris fails to realise that Islam as the religion of the federation is dominant, established and well-respected and there need not be any fear that some foreign festival enjoyed by the people all these years suddenly becomes a threat to Islam. There are laws to deal with such an occurrence if it ever happens.

Malaysia is popularly known as “truly Asia” and Malaysians are proud when recognised as Malaysians internationally by virtue of its multi-nationalism. Let PAS not spoil this little esteem enjoyed by Malaysians through divisive policies, which are meant for its political survival.

Yes, the 15th general election is around the corner, but let this not be campaign fodder for some of our extremist elements.

JazliSalleh: Wan Fayhsal, you've not made any effort to take care of the non-Muslims and non-Malays but suddenly you find it essential to protect them from alcoholism?

Why not take more non-Muslims and non-Malays into the civil service and give them more scholarships and educational opportunities to show that you genuinely care for them?

Otherwise, you are just a political opportunist and a hypocrite of the highest order.

Hmmmmmmmm: Do all religions also reject corruption? I believe that will be the hardest question for either Idris Ahmad or Wan Fayhsal to answer honestly.

If you really care about non-Muslims, just treat us fairly. Don't worry about our health. We can take care of that ourselves. We also know how to dress if you didn’t realise that either.

Existential Turd: Before pointing out the splinter in others’ thumbs, the ministers should examine the timber in their eyes first.

By making disparaging remarks against other races, the minister is promoting disunity, rather than unity. I wonder what "unity" means to national unity deputy minister Wan Fayhsal.

Cogito Ergo Sum: Wan Fayhsal, with this statement from you, your ministry must be renamed Ministry of Disunity and Divisiveness.

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