Facebook pages call for shutdown of Malaysian Oktoberfest celebrations

With the month-long Oktoberfest beer festival about to kick off tomorrow, a local Facebook page is leading the charge to bring a stop to the celebrations, claiming Oktoberfest will “bring ruin” to the country.

The Facebook page, called Rakyat Malaysia Tolak Konsert Liar (Malaysians Against Wild Concerts) deems the Oktoberfest celebrations to be inconsistent with the values of a Muslim-majority (or in its own estimation, a Muslim) country like Malaysia, and urges its 3,700+ followers to call for the cancellation of the Oktoberfest events scheduled in the country. 



As its name suggests, Rakyat Malaysia Tolak Konsert Liar has been calling for the cessation of what it deems immoral and unIslamic events in the country, and calls for Muslims in particular and “morally-upright” Malaysians in general to advocate the outlawing of such events, through petitions, boycotts, and public protests. 

Despite most Oktoberfest events being marketed and restricted to non-Mulsims only (particularly those that involve the serving of alcohol, meaning almost all of them), a Muslim-Malay online media blog, Arus Baru, picked up the call for an end to the festival on its Facebook page, saying, “Are we willing to let sin and vice run roughshod on our motherland? PROTEST!!”

Arus Baru (which runs with the tagline “A New Political Style”) is apparently affiliated with outspoken and often-vitriolic Malay-Muslim group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA), whose president Abdullah Zaik Abdul Rahman was investigated for sedition earlier this year after stating that Malaysian Chinese are intruders brought in by British colonialists to undermine Malay sovereignty. 

Malaysia’s Oktoberfest celebrations are a reflection of the traditional festival held every year in Munich, Germany. While there have been instances of public drunkenness and alcohol-related crimes at Munich’s celebrations, the tourism-centric nature of modern Oktoberfest events have ensured that they stay at a minimum.

Local versions of Oktoberfest events have been clearly stated as catering to non-Muslims only by law, and for those non-Muslim Malaysians who view alcohol consumption as objectionable or reprehensible could also, you know, choose not to attend them. 

Don’t drink and drive. 

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