Azmin: Oktoberfest not a beer festival

Anith Adilah
Oktoberfest 2018, held in Mid Valley and which began yesterday, was given the green light by the Kuala Lumpur City Council. — Picture by Choo Choy May

SHAH ALAM, Oct 12 — The annual Oktoberfest is not a beer festival but an event that is celebrated annually by non-Muslims, says Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.

Speaking at a forum held at Karangkraf’s headquarters here today, Azmin said only a small group had criticised the event and claimed it to be a beer festival.

“I do not want to be involved and dragged into such polemic. I have had prior experience on how Oktoberfest was managed in Selangor,” said Azmin, who held the Selangor Mentri Besar post for four years before appointed as a federal minister in May.

“There is a small group that had criticised it and gave the illustration that it is a beer festival but this is not true. It is merely an annual event.”

Azmin said Johor and other states had also held the events peacefully in the past.

The PKR leader maintains that the Pakatan Harapan government holds a strong stance in upholding Islam but at the same time it cannot restrict the practices of other races.

“The government’s policy is to not only uphold Islam, but we also cannot restrict other cultures and the practices of other races. This is something we have implemented and we do not see any problem with it.

“The local council had set the terms and conditions that need to be adhered to, such as organising the event in a private venue and to station enforcement officers at the venue to ensure that Muslims do not take part in it,” he said.

Oktoberfest 2018, held in Mid Valley and which began yesterday, was given the green light by the Kuala Lumpur City Council (DBKL) for ‘as long as it complies with the law’.

This includes conducting the event indoors and having obtained the necessary permit with the local council.

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