KUALA LUMPUR • Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has disavowed the controversial move by an Umno divisional leader to smash beer bottles outside the Selangor state secretariat building on Thursday.
Police have detained Datuk Seri Jamal Yunos, an Umno divisional leader in Selangor who is known for holding outrageous antics to show his displeasure with opposition-ruled Selangor state.
Also arrested were seven other men who helped carry the boxes of beer bottles which were dumped at the gate of the state building. Mr Jamal later smashed these with a sledgehammer.
Mr Jamal in recent months had turned up at the Selangor state secretariat in a bathrobe and toothbrush following water disruption in the state, and recently sold tons of fish at a huge discount after blaming "towkays" (business leaders) in the Chinese-led Democratic Action Party for hiking the price of seafood in the state. He also flew in a helicopter with photographers to show them a large bungalow with Disneyland-like turrets owned by a Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) leader.
The DAP and PKR are members of the four-party Pakatan Harapan alliance.
The stunt of smashing the beer bottles is Mr Jamal's way of protesting against news in the last two weeks about beer festivals planned at malls in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.
While these events, borrowed from Germany's Oktoberfest beer parties, were held peacefully in recent years, vocal conservative Muslims have protested against these though Muslims are banned from attending. And the government of Prime Minister Najib Razak, with the general election expected within months, has been keen to show its Islamic credentials to its bank of Malay Muslim voters.
Police have since stepped in to ban these mini Oktoberfest events, saying it has received threats from local militants to interrupt them.
Deputy PM Zahid spoke out against the beer-smashing antic of Mr Jamal, one of Umno's 191 powerful divisions chiefs. He is the division chief of Sungai Besar in Selangor.
"We do not sanction his actions," said Datuk Seri Zahid. "He is one of 191 Umno division chiefs. The other 190 didn't smash anything."