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CM: Respect right of non-Muslims on alcohol
Published on: Saturday, June 06, 2020
By: NST
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Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah government respects the right of non-Muslims to consume alcohol, especially when it is part of the culture of the indigenous people in the state.

While the state government would not forbid them from drinking, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal (pic) said the consumers must practice self-control and responsible drinking to avoid untoward incident such as road accident.

“To me, drinking is part of the culture especially to those celebrating Kaamatan and Gawai. If they want to drink, let them be, but we must know the road transport regulation. There must be an authority control to avoid accident that causes death.

“That’s okay if they (federal authority) want to manage it… So, I will leave it to the federal if they want to review (laws on sales of alcoholic beverages. We shouldn’t be too rigid,” he told reporters after launching Sabah Trace.

Shafie was commenting on calls from several quarters for the federal government to prohibit selling of alcohol and freeze the issuance of new alcohol licenses in view of the increasing road accident cases involving drunk drivers.

Housing and Local Government Minister Zuraida Kamaruddin had said the Ministry would consider suggestions to review laws on the sale of alcoholic beverages.

Sabah DAP secretary and Kota Kinabalu Chan Foong Hin had also said yesterday that the call for a total ban of alcohol production and consumption would be an infringement of the cultural rights of Sabah and Sarawak’s indigenous community.

Speaking about Sabah Trace, Shafie said it is part of the state government’s efforts to complement and improve the capability in contact tracing by turning to digital technology as well as data analysis with regards to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We have seen a steady take up rate of Sabah Trace since the rollout two weeks ago. We have more data readily available in digital format and these data can be analysed immediately.

“I hope all relevant authorities will join in to make our contact tracing effort more effective and efficient. I strongly believe we are in a better position now to win the war against Covid-19,” he said.

Since it was rolled out for public on May 18, a total of 4,446 premises including government offices, restaurants, and supermarkets have registered with Sabah Trace.

“It is a digital check-in system that logs the names and mobile numbers of individuals to facilitate contact tracing efforts.” he said. 


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