This after MP likens drinking Timah whiskey to ‘drinking a Malay woman’.
Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has taken a jab at a PKR MP for saying that drinking the Timah whiskey is like “drinking a Malay woman”.
The Muar MP quipped whether he is allowed to eat Daim chocolates or drink Dutch Lady milk.
This came after Rusnah Aluai (Pakatan Harapan-Tangga Batu) said the brand name evoked the names of Malay women like ‘Kak Timah’ or ‘Mak Timah’ and likened drinking the whiskey to “drinking a Malay woman” during Parliament sitting earlier today (Oct 28).
“So, can I eat Daim chocolate? Can I drink Dutch Lady milk?
“Or am I ‘eating’ Tun Daim (Zainuddin) or ‘drinking’ Dutch women?” Saddiq asked mischievously on Twitter on Thursday.
His tweet has garnered almost one thousand retweets at the time of writing, with many netizens cracking jokes about “eating” or “drinking” brand names that sound like people’s names.
Writer Shih-Li Kow replied to Saddiq with, “The whole Malaysian population has eaten Ramli”, referring to the popular Ramly burger.
Others brought up hot dogs, jokingly asking the number of dogs they have eaten.
Govt urged to declare stand on the matter
Saddiq also brought up the issue in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday during the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Deputy Minister Rosol Wahid’s speech.
Rosol was giving the winding-up speech for the second reading of the motion to propose amendments to the Trade Descriptions Act.
Saddiq questioned if brand names reminiscent of people’s names will have to be changed as well.
He urged the government to declare its stand on this matter so that similar issues will not arise in the future due to misunderstandings.
Rosol welcomed Saddiq’s holistic point of view, saying they do not want to decide on such matters on a case-by-case basis.
However, he said he agreed with what Khalid Samad (Harapan-Shah Alam) had said earlier – that the Timah whiskey issue has been sensationalised for the political interests of certain quarters.
“So, we hope after this we would be able to give birth to a mature society, a polite society and one that is responsible and will not take the opportunity to exploit any issues for the interests and benefits of certain parties,” Rosol said.
Following Rosol’s hopes for a more rational and responsible society, Dr Xavier Jayakumar (Independent-Kuala Langat) also urged the government to not allow this Timah whiskey issue to set a precedent in the country.
“We have more important issues in this country for us to resolve. This is just about a name and it does not involve anyone,” he said.
However, a chorus of parliamentarians joined in the Timah whiskey discourse after that, including Teresa Kok (Harapan-Seputeh), Maszlee Malik (Harapan-Simpang Renggam) and Azalina Othman Said (BN-Pengerang).
Kok asked whether the Timah whiskey brand would need approval from the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry to change its branding and whether the name ‘Timah’ will be banned for commercial use after this.
Rosol said the process of approving a brand name requires an application to be made to the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (myIPO), after which the brand name will be put up for public feedback for two months.
If there are no objections from the public in two months, the brand name will be officially approved, he said.
He also denied that the name ‘Timah’ would be banned.
Azalina had interjected during the discussion, saying this issue is similar to the furore over the word ‘hot dog’ several years ago.
“From young, we’ve been eating at A&W, eating hot dogs and coney dogs.
“So, what should I do? My child likes to eat hot dogs, there is no way I can tell her not to eat ‘anjing panas’,” she said.
“So, I think this is important. We need to educate our society to think more logically,” she added.
Maszlee then pointed out that PAS had also raised the Timah whiskey issue, and as such, he urged the PAS MPs to share their opinions on the matter in the Dewan Rakyat.
“We don’t want the government to say one thing and then PAS, who is in the government, to be saying something else,” he said.
Rosol said there should be a separate session for the PAS MPs to share their opinions on the matter as the Dewan Rakyat still has to go through two more bills after that one.
At the end of the discussion on the Timah whiskey issue, Rosol said he hopes after the motion is approved, all the MPs will be able to speak rationally and to the best of their abilities.
According to its producer Winepak, the Timah brand is named after the Malay word for tin ores.
The label also features a photo of Captain Tristram Speedy, an English officer during the British colonisation of Malaya, who is seen sporting a thick beard and a skullcap.
Conservatives have claimed that Timah whiskey’s branding either confuses or insults the Malays and Muslims.
By : GERALDINE TONG – MALAYSIAKINI