No Oktoberfest in Johor, says state's chief minister

Menteri Besar Osman Sapian said alcohol-themed festivals, including Oktoberfest, will not be granted licences in Johor. PHOTO: REUTERS

JOHOR BARU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Johor state government will not grant licences to organise any alcohol-themed festivals, including Oktoberfest, said Menteri Besar Osman Sapian.

Datuk Osman said the state government could not stop individuals from drinking alcohol, but having such festivals there would not be allowed.

"If a non-Muslim wants to drink at a normal place then we will not stop (them), as there are premises licensed to sell alcoholic beverages.

"But to organise such a festival, a licence is required, and we, at the state government, will not issue one," he said on Sunday (Oct 14).

The Terengganu government has also banned the Oktoberfest celebrations.

Last Friday, officials in Terengganu said there will be no Oktoberfest celebrations in the state which is led by Parti Islam SeMalaysia.

The state Tourism, Culture and Information Technology committee chairman Ariffin Deraman said: "No one has applied to hold Oktoberfest here, and we will be constantly monitoring to ensure that the festival is not held."

Mr Ariffin was responding to a netizens' protest after an anti-drink driving campaign co-organised by a beer manufacturer and a ride-sharing company offering 1,000 free rides to revellers went viral.

In Kuala Lumpur, Mayor Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan said last week that restaurants can organise Oktoberfest events if they are held within their premises and they are licensed to sell alcoholic beverages.

"It is fine for such events to proceed as long as they don't break the law and patrons don't cause a public disturbance or become a nuisance," he said.

Any restaurant or organiser will also have to submit the necessary applications to the Kuala Lumpur City Hall and follow its guidelines if permission is granted, he told reporters.

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