Tuesday, 18 June 2013

MCA says alcohol drinking is against Buddhism

MCA has angrily spoken out against the opening of a global bar franchise branch in Kota Kinabalu which uses the name 'Buddha' on its business.

The party, which in the past had lashed out at the Kelantan state government over its curbs on gambling and open sale of alcoholic beverages, also described the act of drinking alcohol as being against the teachings of Buddhism, the predominant religion followed by Malaysia's Chinese community.

"Drinking alcohol is not only a violation of the Five Precepts of Buddhism but this act also goes against the five thousand years of Buddhist culture. This is common sense to anyone with a basic understanding of world religion," said Heng Seai Kie, MCA's deputy secretary and publicity bureau chairman.

The rare condemnation of a liquor-serving outlet by the Chinese-only party followed the protest by Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia (YBAM) over Buddha Bar's use of not only the name of the revered figure in its name, but also the use of Buddhist statues as decoration.

"I urge the Kota Kinabalu City Hall to take prompt action to withdraw the establishment’s operating permit," Heng added.

Heng, who in February accused then Kelantan Menteri Besar Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat of endorsing rape of women who are not dressed modestly, said being a "devout Buddhist", she found the name "Buddha Bar" as disrespectful of the revered Buddha and "detrimental to the holiness of Buddhism".

Earlier, YBAM launched the “Say No to Buddha Bar” campaign, and urged Buddhists in the country "to protest persistently and continuously until the business owners stop using 'Buddha' as their business name and Buddha images and statues as decorative items in the bar".

"To fellow Malaysians, please show our respect to the religious beliefs of each other. While we respect the rights of a certain section of Malaysians to alcoholic drinking, this should be done without hurting the religious rights of others including abuse the usage of Buddha’s name and Buddhist labels and symbols," the group said. -HD

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