SHAH ALAM, Aug 4 (Bernama) -- Selangor PAS today urged that the position of DAP's Ronnie Liu as State Local Government, Study and Research Committee chairman be reviewed following allegations that he had interferred in enforcement by the local authorities.
"Not drop him, maybe shifting the portfolio to somebody else. It is apt due to past incidents...this may to some extent mitigate some of the problems that we are facing," state PAS commissioner Datuk Dr Hasan Ali told a press conference on the liquor issue in Selangor, here, today.
Hasan, who is also state Islamic Affairs and Malay Customs, Infrastructure and Public Facilities Committee chairman, said he was informed by some state government officers that they were unhappy with interference by certain individuals, including Liu, in efforts to prevent the sale of liquor to Muslims in Selangor.
Liu had disputed the action of the Shah Alam City Council in seizing 70 cans and bottles of alcoholic drinks from a 7-Eleven outlet in Section 8 here on July 30, and a press report said that the items were later returned to the convenience store.
Liu was also reported to have said that the existing ruling on the sale of liquor in Selangor remained until a new guideline was issued by the state government.
Hasan, however, said that the decision to prohibit the selling of alcoholic drinks in areas where the majority of residents were Muslims like Section 8, was made at the Shah Alam City Council full-board meeting recently following pressure from the local community.
Selangor PAS information chief Roslan Shahir Mohd Shahir said Liu had also questioned the raid by the Subang Jaya Municipal Council and Selangor Islamic Religious Affairs Department (Jais) on an entertainment outlet in Bandar Sunway where Jais arrested Muslim patrons caught consuming liquor.
He said Liu had contacted and questioned the officers involved in the raid for taking the action although the Selangor Syariah Criminal Enactment 1995 which came into force in 1996 had categorised consuming and selling liquor as a syariah offence for Muslims.
Hasan said with these developments, Selangor PAS urged the state government to be serious in the matter by expediting the drawing up of a suitable guideline for the whole state in line with the Syariah Criminal Enactment (Selangor) 1995 to avoid any controversy in future.
He stressed that the ruling only applied to Muslims as PAS had never demanded that the consumption by and sale of liquor to non-Muslims be curtailed.
A study by Jais showed that many Malay youths, including students, were buying alcoholic drinks from the convenience stores that stayed open until the wee hours.
Hasan said PAS would also submit a draft of by-laws to the state government and Pakatan Rakyat on the consumption by and selling of liquor or alcoholic drinks to Muslims for enforcement at the local level.
Meanwhile, Selangor PAS denied that it was trying to topple the Pakatan Rakyat-controlled state government through the emergence of certain websites.
Hasan said the state government would remain and that PAS would continue to work together with its other partners in the opposition to strengthen the pact.
He also said that at the national level, PAS and Umno were no longer talking about a unity government but a platform to discuss Malay issues and Islam.
Asked on the suggestion by Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim that the Baitulmal funds be used for development purpose, Hasan said the money came from tithe payments and only meant to benefit eight categories of eligible recipients including the poor, destitutes and converts.
However, he said, the Menteri Besar had yet to discuss the matter with the Selangor Islamic Religious Council and Mufti Datuk Mohd Tamyes Abdul Wahid.
Hasan said PAS was of the view that the Baitulmal funds could not go into the state government account, and that the matter must be carefully studied as it involved a large collection of over RM200 million each year from zakat (tithe).