Oktoberfest banned in Johor: State chief minister

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

JOHOR BARU • The Johor state government will not grant licences to organise any alcohol-themed festivals, including Oktoberfest, said Menteri Besar Osman Sapian.

He said the state government could not stop individuals from drinking alcohol, but such festivals would not be allowed to be held.

"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 yesterday.

The Terengganu government has also banned Oktoberfest celebrations. Last Friday, officials said there will be no Oktoberfest celebrations in the state led by Parti Islam SeMalaysia. Said its Tourism, Culture and Information Technology committee chairman Ariffin Deraman: "No one has applied to hold Oktoberfest here, and we will be constantly monitoring to ensure that the festival is not held."

He was responding to a protest by netizens after an anti-drink-driving campaign co-organised by a beer manufacturer and a ride-sharing company that offered 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."

Restaurants or organisers must submit applications to the city hall and follow guidelines, he told reporters.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 15, 2018, with the headline 'Oktoberfest banned in Johor: State chief minister'. Print Edition | Subscribe