A Sikh Lawyer Now Wants Malaysian-Made Sahip Brandy Banned For Sounding Like 'Sahib'
As local whiskey brand Timah has run into religious controversy, another Malaysian brandy named Sahip has found itself in the same boat after a lawyer called for it be banned for sounding like "sahib"
New Straits Times reported that Dr Shamsher Singh Thind, who is a lawyer and criminologist based in George Town, Penang, says the domestic brandy's name is similar to the word "sahib".
Sahib is an Arabic loanword that has passed into several Indian languages, where it's used to refer to "sir" or "master", and sometimes as an honorific title for names of saints and gurus.
According to Shamsher, it's not just Timah that Malaysians should be focusing on.
He argues, that the label on the Sahip bottle "shows a bearded man in a turban on the horse carrying a flag, which strikes an uncanny similarity to the famous portrait of Guru Gobind Singh Ji".
Sahip's label shows a Punjabi soldier dressed in British military regalia
Shamser, in fact, wants all alcoholic drinks to be strictly regulated
"It is time to regulate strictly, if not ban, all forms of liquor, whether locally made or imported, and whether cheap or expensive," the practicing lawyer was quoted as saying yesterday, 18 October.
While drinking alcohol is often associated with the Punjabi culture, thanks largely to the community's portrayal in Bollywood movies, alcohol is prohibited in Sikhism.