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Consumer Association Official Slams Local Producers For Naming Their Whiskey 'Timah'

He said the brand name 'Timah' insults the Muslim community as it resembles the Malay Muslim name 'Fatimah'.

Cover image via A Kathirasen/Free Malaysia Today & Winepak

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The Consumers' Association of Penang (CAP) has slammed local whiskey brand Timah for its name and image that allegedly affronts the Muslim community

According to New Straits Times, CAP education officer NV Subbarow said the brand's advertising was a "gimmick" and "uncalled for" because it displays a long-bearded man with a skull cap on its label, resembling a religious person.

Subbarow criticised the government for approving the product to be sold in the country.

"Aside from containing alcohol, CAP does not understand how such a brand name and image are allowed in the first place, which will trigger an uproar among the people," he said in a statement on Sunday, 17 October.

"The brand name 'Timah' insults the Muslim community as it resembles a Malay Muslim name shortened from the name Fatimah," he added.

Image via Winepak

Despite the Malaysian-made whiskey having garnered international recognition, Subbarow urged for the ban of the product

Timah, produced by Puchong-based Winepak International, is a medal-winning liquor at international competitions. It is sold at RM190 per bottle and contains 40% alcohol.

However, with such a high alcohol content, The Vibes reported that Subbarow feared its effect on consumers.

"We are calling for the government to come clean on the issue. We urge the relevant authorities to ban the product immediately," he said.

CAP education officer NV Subbarow.

Image via A Kathirasen/Free Malaysia Today

Timah has responded to the allegations, clarifying that there has been some misinformation circulating online

In a statement on Facebook, they explained that Timah in Bahasa Malaysia means 'tin' — a type of metal ore that Malaysia was once a major producer of — and what the whiskey connoisseurs wanted to pay homage to.

"The name of Timah whiskey harks back to the tin mining area during British Malaysia. Due to this history, we use the name Timah," they wrote.

The brand also explained that the man depicted on the whiskey label was a 19th-century British explorer named Tristram Charles Sawyer Speedy, popularly known as Captain Speedy, who introduced the spirit to Malaysia during the British colonial days.

A quick Wikipedia search showed that the man was often photographed in a headpiece that were part of Ethopian garments due to his expeditions.

As reiterated by Timah on their Facebook page: "We do not intend for our name to stir controversy. Any interpretation of our name unrelating to Malaysian tin mining is false."

They added that Timah is meant to be enjoyed by non-Muslims above the legal alcohol purchasing age.

A photo of Captain Speedy donning Ethiopian military or noble garb in 1868.

Image via British Museum/Wikipedia

Timah was deemed Malaysia's first whiskey to be globally recognised after winning two medals last year:

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