Malaysia cancels beer festival over criticism from Islamist party

Malaysia has cancelled its popular craft beer festival, which had been set to take place next month, after an Islamist party warned the event would turn its capital Kuala Lumpur into the “largest vice centre in Asia”.

Photo credit: EPA

The organiser of the Better Beer Festival pulled the plug on the festival, which had been expecting to draw more than 6,000 visitors to this Muslim-majority nation, following harsh criticism from the country’s pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS).

Mybeer (M) Sdn Bhd, the company organising the event, said in a statement that they were informed by Kuala Lumpur City Hall officials that the decision was made “due to the political sensitivity surrounding the event”, reported Reuters.

The PAS party warned the event could lead to criminal acts, free sex and rape. Its leading member Dr Riduan Mohd Nor, denounced the event and said it will turn the city into the “largest vice centre in Asia”, reported by the Star Online.

“It is something that is shameful for an Islamic country like Malaysia,” he added.

Malaysia practises a moderate version of Sunni Islam, and about 60% of it 39 million residents are Muslim.

The country has laws that prohibit Muslims from drinking but excluded Indonesian and Chinese minorities. But in recent years, a growing number of hard-line conservatives have opposed western culture, blaming it for the erosion of Islamic culture.

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