Maker of Malaysia's Timah whiskey agrees to consider name change

Several quarters from the Muslim community had voiced opposition against the use of the name for the alcoholic beverage. PHOTO: TIMAH/FACEBOOK

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) The company manufacturing the Malaysian home-grown whiskey Timah has agreed to consider changing the name and image on the label of their award-winning product, said Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Alexander Nanta Linggi.

He said the firm, Winepak Corporation, has asked for one week to discuss with its stakeholders and board of directors on changing the name and image on the product.

"This is among the joint decisions reached together in a meeting between the company representatives and the government on Wednesday.

"The hybrid meeting was conducted within a harmonious environment within the concept of Keluarga Malaysia (Malaysian Family) to reach a consensus for the good of the nation," he said in a statement on Thursday (Oct 28).

Meanwhile, a lawmaker in Malaysia's Parliament has suggested the manufacturer change the name to avoid depicting Malay women in a bad light.

MP Rusnah Aluai went on to say drinking the whiskey was "as though we are drinking Malay women" during debates on Trade Descriptions (Amendment) Act 2021 in Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (Oct 28).

Earlier, Ms Rusnah said the confusion over the whiskey brand also extended to the illustration used by the manufacturer.

"I want to say that it is truly confusing as the brand includes a photograph of Capt Speedy wearing a kopiah (skullcap).

"Isn't there any other photograph of Capt Speedy in different hats that they can use?" she added.

On Oct 16, the whiskey manufacturer explained on its Facebook page that the name pays tribute to Malaya's long history in tin mining, and the man pictured on the label is Captain Tristram Speedy (1836 - 1911), an English officer in Malaya during the British colonial era.

Several quarters from the Muslim community had voiced opposition against the use of the name for the alcoholic beverage, including lodging police reports.

Last Friday (Oct 22), deputy Parti Islam SeMalaysia president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man emphasised that Timah is not a Muslim name, nor even a person's name.

Earlier, MP Khalid Samad said that the issue over the whiskey was played up by certain quarters for their own political agenda.

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