Labuan’s Oktoberfest a success
Published on: Monday, October 21, 2019
By: Sohan Das
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LABUAN: Hundreds of revellers packed the island’s Oktoberfest event for free flow of beer, food and entertainment on Saturday – sending a strong message to PAS which had called on the public to boycott the event, to not trample on the constituitional rights of others.

“I was told that there were many last minute bookings but the organiser did not entertain because it wanted to keep the festival at a manageable level,” said Labuan Chinese Chamber of Commerce Sec-Gen Roger Foo, who was among those who attended.

Those who joined the merry-making came from Brunei, Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan and there were even China nationals.

On the PAS protest over the festival, Roger said the party should know that this is Labuan and not Kelantan. “Labuan is a progressive island and the PAS ideology is not applicable here.

“Labuan apart from being a financial centre and oil/gas hub is also a duty-free tourist destination. 

“Hundreds of supply boats with expatriate crew dot the harbour and PAS should respect their rights to enjoy any festival of their choice instead of turning it into an issue. 

“It reflects the narrow thinking of PAS. As a free port, the island is expected to hold such events,” he said.

He regretted that despite the event clearly meant only for non-Muslims, it continued to make a fuss about it.

“PAS through its criticism of the event in media actually helped to give it wider publicity. This probably attracted the attention of more outsiders,” said Bryan Tan, one of those who didn’t mind paying RM180 per person at Manikar Resort.

Last year, the party also protested over the German beer-drinking festival. 

This year it went a step further by joining forces with the Persatuan Ummah and presented a memo to the religious Department (JAWI) here even though it was a closed-door event and strictly for non-Muslims only.

Labuan is an island Federal Territory which is popular for duty-free liquor and cigarettes.


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