Malaysia Better Beer Festival scrapped, tourists from 11 countries disheartened

Islamist Party objected to the beer festival event to be held in the first week of October in Kuala Lumpur, leading to its cancellation and refunding of the ticket money

Better Beer Festival
Better Beer Festival

Amid objections and uproar from the Islamist Party, authorities have cancelled the famous annual beer festival planned in the first week of October in Kuala Lumpur.

According to the Malaysian political group, it is 'western' and 'un-Islamic' and warned that it would turn the capital into 'the biggest center of vice in Asia." The officials soon rejected the application citing unruly behaviour and violence.

Although there are many people among the Chinese and Indian minorities in Malaysia who wanted to participate in the beer festival, the objection from the Muslim majority Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) prevailed over the authorities.

The so-called 'Better Beer Festival' was held five times consecutively in the past and the sixth edition of the event touted to be Malaysia's largest craft Beer festival, however, stands cancelled despite huge following.

The first beer festival of Malaysia was held at Taps Beer Bar in Changkat Bukit Bintang and it drew around 200 people. The second annual event, held at Publika Shopping Gallery in Kuala Lumpur, attracted more than 3,500 craft beer lovers.

Kuala Lumpur city hall (DKBL) came out with a statement on Monday that it had rejected the application for permit by the organisers. "If the organisers continue with the event without DBKL's approval, action will be taken in accordance with existing laws," said City Hall to Daily Mail UK.

The organisers headed by Mohamed (M) Sdn Bhd said they were informed by DKBL officials that the decision was made due to the political sensitivity surrounding the event.

But there is also a different tale to tell here. Reportedly, there is more pressure from Islamist militants than the PAS. The spokesperson, Ti Lian Ker, of Malaysia's ruling party, issued a statement saying he had been briefed that Non – Muslims would be at risk if the event goes as planned.

There was a grenade attack on the Movida Pub injuring eight people in Puchong last year, which was the first attack by IS militants on the soil, according to the police.

"As a responsible party and government, we cannot gamble with public security or put the public at risk. We cannot take for granted that IS militants are now targeting Malaysia and in particular, non-Muslims, for attacks to drive across their points and views," added Ti Lian Ker.

A member of PAS central committee said on September 10 that there was no guarantee that such events would not lead to criminal acts. Opponents of the Beer festival, meanwhile, launched a Facebook campaign against the event.

Elsewhere in Europe, the largest beer festival 'Oktoberfest' is going to be held between September 16 and October 8 in Munich, is slated to steal the show again this year with more than six million people descending on the city.

Malaysia is the only country to ban beer festival which would have attracted easily 6,0000 people from 11 countries taking part in the two-day extravaganza, according to the Facebook post by the organisers, who are making plans to refund the visitors.