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PKR MP Says Drinking Timah Whiskey Is Like 'Drinking A Malay Woman'

The government announced today, 28 October, that the company behind Timah has agreed to consider changing its brand name.

Cover image via Winepak Corporation & Buletin TV3 (YouTube)

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A member of Parliament (MP) has likened drinking a local-made whiskey named Timah to "drinking a Malay woman"

During the Parliament sitting today, 28 October, Tumpat MP Datuk Che Abdullah Mat Nawi — aligned with PAS — asked the government what action will be taken to resolve the confusion that Muslim consumers face on food delivery apps.

He said many Muslims are confused about whether the food vendors are halal or not while ordering food online.

Tangga Batu MP Rusnah Aluai, who is aligned with PKR, jumped on the topic and brought up the controversy surrounding award-winning whiskey Timah, saying that the product's name causes a lot of confusion.

Tumpat MP Datuk Che Abdullah Mat Nawi (top) and Tangga Batu MP Rusnah Aluai.

Image via Buletin TV3 (YouTube)

"When we talk about confusion, I would like to stress again that the brand name 'Timah' is really confusing," Rusnah began her speech

"This is accompanied by an image of Captain Speedy donning a kopiah. Isn't there a photo of Captain Speedy wearing a hat?"

Kopiah means a head garment, but it is also used to refer to the songkok — a hat commonly worn by male Muslims.

"Or why can't we use another name for the brand Timah? The mine or anything else?" she continued.

"This is a matter that is very bad for women because Timah can be seen as a representation of Malay women. Kak Timah, Mak Timah, Mak Cik Timah..."

"When we drink the whiskey, it is as if we are drinking Malay women."

Che Abdullah then agreed that everything that confuses consumers should not be allowed.

Meanwhile, Pengerang MP Azalina Othman said politicians should educate Malaysians to think more logically

She said the controversy should be a non-issue in the first place as she likened how Malaysians used to eat hotdogs from A&W when they were young, suggesting that it was not a problem then.

Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh also took a jab at the remark in a tweet, saying that Malaysians have been drinking Dutch Lady for decades, before asking everyone to move on from the subject.

Amidst the ongoing controversy surrounding the whiskey, the government announced today that the whiskey company has agreed to consider changing Timah's name

In a statement today, the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) said Winepak Corporation (M) Sdn Bhd requested one week to discuss with its shareholders and board of directors about changing the name and image on the label of the alcoholic product produced by them.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said Winepak Corporation's consideration on the matter was the outcome after the government met with the company representatives yesterday, 27 October.

"The meeting, held online, was conducted in a harmonious way in line with the 'Keluarga Malaysia' concept to reach an amicable solution for the good of the country," said the minister.

The meeting was joined by Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Religious Affairs) Idris Ahmad, and National Unity Minister Datuk Halimah Mohamed Sadique.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi.

Image via Sinar Harian

Timah is Malaysia's first internationally recognised whiskey and has won awards for its impeccable taste

The double peated blended whiskey was produced by Puchong-based Winepark Corporation.

Timah is the first local-made whiskey that won a silver medal at the 2020 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, one of the world's oldest contests of its kind.

Judges described it as "an outstanding spirit that displays refinement, finesse, and complexity", reported theSundaily.

The whiskey went on to win another silver award at the International Spirits Challenge 2020.

In a statement made available to SAYS in February, Winepak Corporation said the company is proud to share the win with fellow Malaysians and it intended to become the flagbearer for Malaysian alcoholic brands and a leader in the ASEAN market.

Rusnah's statement on the issue can be seen at the 2:51:05 mark in the video below:

Timah won two international spirit awards last year:

Earlier this month, the alcoholic beverage was thrust into the limelight because its name and image allegedly affronts the Muslim community: