Not one, but two liquor brands are under fire for blasphemy in just a week.
Last Sunday (Oct 17), the Consumers' Association of Penang (CAP) shot down local whiskey brand Timah. One, for its Malay Muslim-sounding name & two, for the image on the bottle packaging.
CAP education officer NV Subbarow said the brand's advertising featured a long-bearded man with a skull cap on, that resembles a religious person or 'ulama'.
Subbarow said the gimmick was uncalled for & blamed the government for approving the product to be sold in Malaysia.
Fast forward a couple days later, a Sikh lawyer is calling for the ban of Malaysian-made Sahip brandy. This time for the exact same reason: blasphemy on its name and labelling. On the bottle, one can find a bearded man in a turban on the horse carrying a flag, that resembles the portrait of Guru Gobind Singh Ji.
Dr Shamser Singh Thind, a lawyer & criminologist said the local brandy's name sounds close to the word 'sahib'. The Arabic loanword refers to the honorific title of saints and gurus.
Both Subbarow & Thind are urging for the ban of these products, or better yet, all forms of liquor. While Sahib has yet to respond to the outburst, Timah responded with a Facebook statement.
The brand explained that the liquor name is referring to tin -a type of metal ore- & the man on the label was a 19th-century British explorer, Tristram Charles Sawyer Speedy.
Sahip brandy comes in three different sizes, priced at RM7 to RM30. Timah, a medal-winning liquor, is retailed at RM190 per bottle.