Breweries were shutdown yesterday not long after the Opposition Leader questioned if they were “essential”.
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It looks like the taps would be running dry for Malaysia’s alcoholic beverage manufacturers with the government now ordering a full shutdown of all breweries during the total lockdown period.
This means that, for the second time in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, booze will again be considered a non-essential commodity.
The decision came after apparent backlash from members of the public who determined that alcoholic drinks should not be listed in the category of essential needs and services that are allowed to operate during the movement control order (MCO).
Reportedly, the International Trade and Industry Ministry (MITI) will only be allowing an estimated 95,142 companies in 12 categories deemed necessary for the economy to continue operations.
The issue even saw a response from Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who hinted at his disapproval on social media and inquired what the public thought about the policies being implemented by the government for MCO3.0.
RM100 for single people, M40 ignored, alcohol factories allowed to open, Parliament remains silent and decisions that are always u-turned show that the government is not serious about the total lockdown.Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim via Twitter.
RM100 untuk orang bujang, M40 dipinggirkan, kilang arak terus dibenar buka, Parlimen terus sunyi dan keputusan yang selalu putar balik menunjukkan kerajaan tidak serius untuk 'Total Lockdown'.— Anwar Ibrahim (@anwaribrahim) June 1, 2021
Saya ingin dengar respon rakyat. Bagaimana?
Although many had agreed with his apparent non-alcoholic stance, others appear to accuse the politician of singling out the tipsy topic as other industries remains open during the total lockdown.
Singling out beer factories? 🍺 Isn't it obvious what you're trying to do @anwaribrahim? Why don't you just mention ALL factories that are non-essential are still operating? We are not all brain dead Mister. 🙄 https://t.co/dKLl3eBUmV— Siti Kasim (@sitikasim) June 1, 2021
“Kilang arak terus dibenar buka”… Why am I not surprised he is playing this card. https://t.co/1eoTjXbz5I— emmanuelsamarathisa (@esshimself) June 1, 2021
Just last year, top members of the government including Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin made statements proposing that it might be best for the country to be rid of alcohol and the places where people go to drink during the pandemic, citing reasons of health and safety as well as the moral implications of drinking booze.
However, pushback came from Malaysians who determined that alcohol was very much part of what makes Malaysia the diverse and lively place that it is.
Many had come out to argue and acknowledge the cultural significance of alcohol for our native Orang Asal communities in East Malaysia as well as drinkers across the country.
Typing out trending topics and walking the fine line between deep and dumb.