SUBANG JAYA: A public outcry has erupted following a move by the Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ) to ban Muslims from working at entertainment outlets with liquor licences.
The council is facing pressure to rescind the controversial ruling.
State local government chairman Ronnie Liu said the state government had not given approval for the council to enforce the ruling which would affect the livelihood of Muslims employed at pubs, hotels, restaurants and entertainment clubs. He said the issue was discussed at the state exco meeting on Wednesday.
“We have advised the MPSJ president to withdraw this new condition,” he added.
MPSJ is said to be enforcing this condition on entertainment outlets namely pubs, discos and clubs which have liquor licences issued by the Customs Department, stopping them from employing Muslims.
This new condition was apparently endorsed at the MPSJ’s full board meeting in June 2009 and is in accordance with Section 18 (2) of the Syariah Criminal Enactment (Selangor) 1995.
Under the new guidelines, entertainment outlet operators will be subject to fines of up to RM5,000 if they flout conditions of the licence.
MPSJ councillor Mohd Nasir Yusoff said the councillors were informed of the new ruling during a full board meeting in 2009. The matter, however, was not discussed thoroughly.
“The enactment has been in existence since 1995,” Mohd Nasir said.
Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) secretary-general Abdul Halim Mansor said MTUC was against the ruling as Muslim employees are only working at these outlets, not drinking alcohol.
Jamsharee Al Qudsi used to be a marketing manager but after being retrenched, accepted a job as a mixer for cocktail drinks at an entertainment outlet in Subang Jaya.
“I don’t drink, I mix the drinks based on what I feel would taste good.
“MPSJ must rescind the ruling as it would affect numerous Muslims,” said Jamsharee who considers himself a devout Muslim. - theStar