Home CLR Opinion VoiceOut: Will There Be Oktoberfest This Year??

VoiceOut: Will There Be Oktoberfest This Year??

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*Update: In the previous version of this article, there was a reference to Oktoberfest being called ‘Pesta Maksiat’.  The name calling was actually made in reference to the Better Beer Festival 2017. The event has nothing to do with Oktoberfest. We have since corrected the article to reflect this. 
Remember last year when our DBKL ‘batalkan’ Oktoberfest?
Yes. Weren’t we all disappointed, after much anticipation!

From various reported news, it was understood that events were canceled for the following reasons;

  • The DBKL announcement came a week after PAS central committee member Dr Riduan Mohd Nor spoke out against the event, calling it a “pesta maksiat” (vice party) and claiming that it would turn Kuala Lumpur into the “largest vice centre in Asia”.

    Source: TheStar

  • Last week the pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), warned the event could lead to criminal acts, free sex and rape.

    Source: Telegraph

  • In a statement earlier today, PAS MP Datuk Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali praised DBKL for refusing the festival, saying the local council “carried the aspirations of all Malaysians who reject the organisation of any immoral festival that damages the people.”

    Source: Malay Mail

  • “We were further informed that the decision was made due to the political sensitivity surrounding the event,” the statement added.

    Source: Channel News Asia

I get it.

Excessive alcohol consumption is hazardous. It could occasionally lead to unfortunate road accidents or even sexual harassments.

But, pinpointing Oktoberfest as a sole reason for vices in Malaysia is going abit overboard.

Moreover, if these events like Oktoberfest would likely lead to criminal acts, free sex and rape, why are there still pubs and clubs in Malaysia?

Truth in the matter is, these unfortunate events still happen even without the influence of alcohol.

If I may, I would so politely suggest that the above issues concern more of the standard which our educational system imposed instead?

I always believe that appropriate sex education is the key to preventing sexual violence in society or a household.

A great example would be the most recent commotion regarding the examination papers for the Form Five Islamic Studies subject. One of the question in the paper asked what were permissible ways to beat a disobedient wife!!

Though I concede that I have a different upbringing and religion, I find the situation baffling and alarmingly unacceptable in society.

So is this festive event of the year worth the FUSS, solely based on the above reasons? At the end of the day, I stress that there is a fundamental need in Malaysian education reform!

Luckily, this year, Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad has given the green light for holding Oktoberfest in the city.

Organizers have to :

  • File an application for a permit to hold such event; and

Borang Lesen Hiburan, Permainan dan Tempat-Tempat Hiburan
  • Adhere to the guidelines set by DBKL

However, according to Khalid Samad, to date, there have been no applications made to hold the festive event.

Well, let’s hope that no events are canceled due to that.

But why hasn’t anyone applied yet?!

Well, after some digging, I realized that there may be some confusion here.

In the first place, if any organizer who wish to apply for the abovesaid permit, one would automatically turn to DBKL to file the application. Right?

So, I called DBKL and asked them about it.

Funnily – well not really – they have no idea what permit nor guidelines I was referring to and failed to provide me with the correct guidance.

After delving into the matter, I only realized that the ‘Borang’ can only be found at the official portal of the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ).

Could this be the reason why no applications were filed in the first place? Maybe there should be a better system imposed.

If you are wondering where is it to find the guidelines, here it is:
http://www.mbpj.gov.my/sites/default/files/lesen_pusat_hiburan.pdf
Source: The Coverage

Nevertheless, I am glad that our new PM Tun Mahathir is all for Oktoberfest.

As he succinctly pointed out, drinking beer is the culture of others and not of Muslims. So rather than ‘jaga tepi kain oring lain’ its better to focus on one’s culture.

“Knowledge alone is not enough if not controlled by good culture. I am so embarrassed to read the reports of so many bad behaviors by Muslims, especially young people. I think this should be given more attention by Muslims and not forbidding non-Muslims to drink beer.”

Anyway, I’m looking forward to a fun and jolly OKTOBERFEST soon.

Just remember to not DRINK AND DRIVE my friends!

*****

-About the Author-
Justina Lim is a freelance writer for The CanLaw Report, an adventurous islander from the North, bringing her uncensored perspectives to defy the conventional practice of the legal profession in Malaysia.