MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Sunday, October 31, 2021

How did a non-issue become so controversial, asks Ramkarpal


Ramkarpal Singh regrets that the whisky manufacturer is now considering changing the name of its product after pressure to do so from various quarters.

PETALING JAYA: The government should educate those who are misinformed instead of further contributing to the “Timah” controversy, says DAP’s Ramkarpal Singh.

In a statement, Ramkarpal said this controversy ought not to have happened in the first place as it indicated sheer ignorance on the part of the government, adding that a non-issue had been turned into an issue for some reason.

“It is most unfortunate that the issue has escalated into what it is with the whisky manufacturer now considering changing the name of its product after pressure to do so from various quarters, including the relevant ministry,” he said.

Ramkarpal added that he failed to see how the Malaysian-made whisky could cause confusion or touch on religious sensitivities as it was clearly related to the tin mining industry in Perak and the person depicted on the brand was a British officer during British colonial rule in Malaya.

“With so much spotlight on Timah recently and the numerous explanations that have surfaced to explain that it has no connection with any religion, it is difficult to understand how anyone can be confused as to what it means.

“This raises the question as to why its manufacturers are even considering a name change.”

Ramkarpal Singh.

Ramkarpal noted that a name change might lead some to erroneously believe that there was some truth in the rhetoric of those opposing the brand and this defies common sense.

“I am also of the view that there is no need to go into the legality of the brand as I do not think any law has been breached when the whisky was incorporated and marketed in this country,” he added.

In recent weeks, several parties had voiced their unhappiness over the award-winning Malaysian-made whisky, claiming it sounded like a shortened version of the Arabic name Fatimah and that the image of the man on the bottle looked like a person wearing a “kopiah” or a Muslim skullcap.

The word “Timah” refers to the Malay word for tin. Its manufacturer, Winepak, however, has said it plans to change the whisky’s name following a meeting it attended with representatives of various ministries. - FMT

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