Local-made whiskey brand “Timah” has sparked controversy after the Consumer Association of Penang (CAP) has called on the government to ban the brand citing that it is insulting towards the religion of Islam.
The “insulting Islam” narrative emphasised on everything related to Timah’s brand name, the image used on the bottle as well as the timing of the launch.
There have been accusations that the brand name is a shortened form of the name of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) daughter – Fatimah.
The issue has also received support from Majlis Perundingan Pertubuhan Islam Malaysia (MAPIM).
“The emergence of a Malaysian-made whiskey is an embarrassment and an insult to Muslims when the brand is linked to a Malay and Muslim name (Timah is short for Fatimah),” said President of MAPIM Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid in a statement.
Azmi also took issue with the image of the man on the bottle saying, “More insolent (biadab) is the liquor’s advertisement uses the image of a man in kopiah with a long beard as if showing the someone with Muslim image is promoting liquor.”
Whiskey maker Timah, while addressing the criticism in a statement, said the man on its bottle is Captain Tristram Speedy, an English officer during the British colonisation of Malaya.
“The man on our bottle, Captain Speedy, was one of the men who introduced whiskey culture back then,” they stated.
Speedy was appointed as an administrator to restore order during the Larut wars, a conflict for control over tin mining areas in Perak from 1861 to 1874.
“Timah is a local word which means ‘tin’. The name ‘Timah Whiskey’ harks back to the tin mining era during British Malaya.
“Any interpretation of our name unrelated to Malaysian mining is false,” added the whiskey manufacturer.
They also stressed that their product was intended for non-Muslims of legal age to purchase alcohol.
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