The “Better Beer Festival” was expected to draw some 6,000 visitors in October, compared to around 200 guests at the 2012 event, according to Singapore-based Strait Times.
This photo taken on July 20, 2010 shows a bar-tender filling a glass with beer for a customer in Kuala Lumpur’s vibrant Bukit Bintang nightlife district.
The Kuala Lumpur City Hall had announced that the Better Beer Festival 2017, which was to take place between Oct 6 and 7, will not be allowed to go ahead.
“If the organiser insists on continuing the activity, DBKL is entitled to act under existing legal provisions”.
“We were further informed that the decision was made due to the political sensitivity surrounding the event”, the organiser added.
Though there are plenty of beer drinkers among the sizable Chinese and Indian minorities, protests against events deemed to be “western” and unIslamic – such as concerts and festivals involving alcohol – are common in Muslim-majority Malaysia and are usually led by the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS). It was the latest sign of creeping conservatism in Malaysia, where critics say increasingly vocal Islamic hardliners and politicians are eroding a traditionally moderate brand of the religion.
The festival is set to showcase 250 different craft beers by 43 independent breweries from 12 countries, and also includes a variety of food and live performances.
Activist-lawyer Azhar Harun however said PAS should provide statistics and proof to back its argument that the annual craft beer festival in Malaysia would increase crime rates in the city.
DBKL’s move was praised by Mr Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali, a PAS MP for Kuala Nerus, who said that the decision “carried the aspirations of all Malaysians who reject the organisation of any immoral festival that damages the people”.