EXCO at the state level has certain executive power. Every Wednesday, they attend the state EXCO meeting, chaired by the Menteri Besar. The EXCO meeting is a mini cabinet where the state financial officer, state legal advisor and state secretary are also present. They are regarded as ex-officials and give advise pertaining to legal and administrative matters. Most land matters and local authority problems are usually brought up at the state meeting.
An EXCO member while being invested with certain power, are not involved directly on issues involving enforcement. Hence, if I am in charge of local government, I cannot directly interfere in the promotion and transfer of staffs within the local authorities. I can express my opinion through the state’s secretary or if it involves legal matter, through the state legal officer. When it involves land issues, I would normally contact the Director of Lands and Mines. Only on certain major policy matter, it can be brought to the attention of the MB. When it comes to enforcement, my hands will be tied. Of course we cannot deny that enforcement officers do abuse their power. There are structures and legal avenues within the state and local council that everyone has to follow, including state EXCOs. If enforcement officers abuse their power, there are also procedures to follow whereby these can be rectified effectively without much ruckus.
Under the Excise Act in the federal laws, beer could be freely sold, be it in supermarket, sundry shop or convenient store and no license is required to sell beer because it has very low content of alcohol. Ronnie rushing to the scene and insisting that the seized beer to be returned by local council will not solve the problem. This act by Ronnie has caused PAS Selangor Commissioner Datuk Hasan Ali calling for Ronnie to be removed from his EXCO post because he has crossed his boundary and jurisdiction as an EXCO.
It would be better if Muslims can be inculcated with the right Islamic values as to the wrong of drinking beer. If they drink alcohols or liquors, they would be punished if caught. One good example is the recent incident of a Malay model, who was caught drinking in a hotel lounge were punished with caning and fine of RM5000. This case provoked an outcry from a lot of Muslims who felt that the punishment was way above the wrong committed. More campaigns should be done by Selangor state government to educate Muslims about their Islamic values, especially on Muslim youths who are vulnerable to the negative effects of alcohol.
Now, it all boils down to Selangor MB’s decision. His decision is crucial to whether PR remains united or divided over liquor issue. It appears to be that the PKR is in the dilemma as DAP and PAS are bickering among themselves over different opinions in this issue. I remembered PAS started proposing ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages at sundry shops and convenient stores end of last year but Khalid objected to the proposal. However, not even a year after that, this proposal returns. I wonder what is the motive of PAS by proposing such ban in Selangor, where there are multiracial communities. Are they trying to start up some hudud laws in Selangor? Only PAS knows!