Dr Afiq Rahim

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Petition Title: Alcoholic Consumption and Improper Social Behaviours at Malaysian Events.

2721723215 b06879bc72 - Say NEVER to ALCOHOL !!!

Date: 26th March 2010

On Friday 19th March 2010, a musical concert was held at the University of Manchester, an even organised by ‘Kugiran Negara ke United Kingdom Enterprise’ (KNUKE) in collaboration with the Malaysian Student Society of Manchester (MSSM). It featured a Malaysian band, ‘Couple’, along with a host of British bands that includes The Rays, House of Five, The Stowaways and The Beat Marshals and a junior band comprising of children around the age of 10. The concert took place between 6pm and 10pm at the Student Union’s Main Hall and was reportedly attended by approximately 150 people, 80-90% of which were Muslim Malaysians who are currently studying in Manchester.

During the course of the concert eyewitnesses have confirmed that alcohol was liberally consumed by the majority of the people in the audience, including the said Muslim Malaysians. In a recent correspondence with the co-organizer (MSSM), it was claimed that neither the KNUKE nor the MSSM distributed or sold alcohol to the audience. While the organizers admitted to having served alcohol to the British bands upon request, it was only confined to the backstage room, a place where nobody apart from the organizers had access to. Several members of the audience have reported that Muslim Malaysians were seen buying alcoholic drinks from a bar outside the gig venue, and some claim that those who purchased alcohol later distributed it among the audience. Both KNUKE and MSSM have insisted that the organizers were in no position to prevent the purchase and distribution of alcohol due to the fact that the Student Union has no regulation that restricts such acts.

Free mingling between members of both sexes was also on full display, according to reports by several members of the audience. Some Muslim Malaysians were seen kissing in public and engaged in manners unfit for students bearing the Islamic and Malaysian image. These behaviours could have been induced by the alcoholic consumption, even though most of the members of the audience were not drunk at the concert. Regardless of their mental state, the behaviours displayed by these students were below par by Malaysian standard and in serious breach of Islamic social regulations.

Many students all over the UK are concerned with the reports above, primarily because it is felt that the activities mentioned above could have been prevented and should not be allowed to be replicated in any Malaysian event attended by Malaysian Muslims. The Islamic Medical Association of Malaysia (IMAM) has pointed out that not only was the consumption of alcohol at the concert a cause for concern, but the fact that there was even presence of alcohol at an event that claimed to be Malaysian and that it was attended by Muslims and children is a further point of worry. The consumption and distribution of alcohol is strictly prohibited in Islam and the Malaysian culture is against free and public display of affection between members of both sexes. It is believed that the behaviours indulged in at the concert were a gross distortion of the image of both Islam and Malaysia.

We, representing the majority of students in the UK who are against the social conduct displayed at the concert, would like to strongly urge the Malaysian Student Department to do the following:

1. Conduct a thorough investigation into how alcohol was freely distributed at an event hosted by Malaysian organizations who denied involvement in both the purchase and the distribution of alcohol among the audience. Those responsible, whether in professional or personal capacity, should be held accountable and given a gentle reminder of the appropriate social conduct that needs to be observed at an entertainment event such as this. We believe that this investigation needs to commence promptly so as to avoid a replication of the same social picture at the next concert featuring the Malaysian band Couple, which will also be attended by many Malaysian Muslims.

2. Draw a clear set of regulations that needs to be abided by future organizers of like events. We are aware that part of the reason behind the excessive behaviours at the said concert was due to the fact there had been no definitive and concrete guideline of what is morally accepted in a social event and what is not. The MSD must play a central role in standardizing the social code of Malaysian entertainment events in the hope of preventing the presence of alcohol and the display of inappropriate behaviours among those in attendance.

3. Produce a clear and firm statement regarding this issue for the attention of all Malaysian communities in the United Kingdom. It is hoped that once this is done, the message will be conveyed that what happened at the concert is not condoned and accepted by the Malaysian community.

4. Commence efforts to ensure that all future Malaysian events are alcohol-free. It is widely accepted that the UK is steeped in its alcoholic tradition which Muslim students must respect. However, the respect given must be merely formal in nature and we believe that the MSD must attempt at creating an alcohol-free environment for Malaysian students where it is possible to do so and it is strongly held that the aforementioned concert was one such example. Promoting alcohol-free environments will not be difficult considering the high level of tolerance commonly associated with the United Kingdom.

Your cooperation to support this cause and fulfill the requests as stated above is highly appreciated.

Jazakallahu khairan kasira,
Many thanks,
Be Sober and Be Muslim !
Ibn Abd Rahim,
Dublin 8.

3 thoughts on “Say NEVER to ALCOHOL !!!

    Regarding the petition entitled ‘Alcoholic Consumption and Improper Social Behaviours at Malaysian Events’ dated 26th March 2010, IMAM UK Student Chapter stands are as followed;
    1. IMAM UK SC has nothing to do with the petition and had never paid any allegiance to any parties responsible of producing the petition.
    2. IMAM UK SC had received and agreed on the official statement of clarification produced by the organizers i.e. MSSM and KNUKE and a consensus had been reached by all parties involved and therefore agreed that the issue had been considered resolved.
    3. IMAM UK SC has never and will not promote the petition mentioned above in any of our Yahoo Groups or Mailing List. Therefore, any support or spread of this petition by any IMAM UK SC members does not represent our stand.
    4. IMAM UK SC against any kind of false accusation against any parties name it MSSM or KNUKE and hope that those who come out with the claims be more responsible by providing proves for their claims
    1. IMAM UK SC hopes and agrees that it will be wise for the Malaysian Student Department (MSD) to produce a clear set of guideline to act as a reference for any Malaysian societies in the future.
    2. We would also like to encourage any of IMAM UK SC members and the public not to simply accept and agree with any kind of allegation made by any organization but rather search for the truth. This is conform to a verse in the holy Quran chapter 49, verse 6:
    “O People who Believe! If any miscreant brings you some tidings, verify it, lest you unknowingly cause suffering to some people, and then remain repenting for what you did.”
    3. We would also like to express our disappointment if the incidents mentioned in the petition happen in any events organized by any Malaysian societies and hopes that it will never happen again in the future.
    Finally, this statement is a prove and will act as a written prove in future that IMAM UK SC is not responsible for the spreading and what more, involve in organizing the petition entitled; ‘Alcohol Consumption and Improper Social Behaviour at Malaysian Events’ [26th March 2010] and disproved any kind of false accusation made towards any parties involved.
    Thank you
    Prepared by;
    Muhd Alwi Muhd Helmi

  2. Bismillahirrahmanirrahim

    Kenyataan Rasmi
    Malaysian Community of Old Trafford
    (Berdaftar di bawah MSD UKEire)

    Perkara : Berkenaan dengan petisyen anti alkohol di

    Berhubung dengan perkara di atas, MCOT selaku salah sebuah persatuan pelajar Malaysia di Manchester meminta agar pemilik blog berkenaan agar menutup petisyen yang dikeluarkan olehnya.
    Hal ini adalah kerana:
    1. Perbincangan yang menyeluruh telah berlangsung pada hari Selasa 6 April 2010 antara wakil pihak MSD dengan Penganjur konsert COUPLE (KNUKE, & MSSM) dan persatuan pelajar yang lain di Manchester (MCOT, MSM, KUSMA, IMAM)

    2. Siasatan yang menyeluruh berkaitan dengan konsert tersebut telah dijalankan. dan hasil dapatan daripada perbincangan tersebut telah menjelaskan bahawa pihak penganjur tidak MENJUAL SEBARANG BENTUK MINUMAN BERALKOHOL kepada pengunjung dan telah BERUSAHA SEDAYA UPAYA untuk memastikan penganjuran konsert tersebut bebas daripada sebarang bentuk alkohol; namun perkara yang telah berlaku adalah di luar daripada bidang kuasa mereka.

    3. Kesemua daripada wakil persatuan yang hadir dalam mesyuarat tersebut telah bersetuju bahawa perkara ini tidak seharusnya dibangkitkan semula kerana SATU SIASATAN YANG MENYELURUH berkenaan konsert tersebut telah berlangsung dan MSD telah BERSETUJU untuk mengeluarkan GARIS PANDUAN kepada semua persatuan pelajar di UK dan Ireland agar perkara-perkara yang sensitif seperti ARAK tidak lagi wujud dalam mana-mana aktiviti persatuan pelajar Malaysia yang melibatkan orang Muslim.

    4. Seharusnya sebarang pertuduhan yang dikemukakan hendaklah dibincangkan terlebih dahulu dengan pihak penganjur dan sewajarnya tidak dihebahkan kepada masyarakat umum. Hal ini adalah untuk mengelakkan daripada tersebarnya sebarang spekulasi yang tidak perlu dan fitnah yang mungkin boleh menjejaskan nama baik sesebuah organisasi. Sebagai salah sebuah persatuan pelajar yang amat mementingkan konsep integriti dan kejujuran, MCOT tidak akan sesekali menyokong sebarang fitnah yang tidak berasas yang wujud tanpa disertakan dengan bukti-bukti yang kukuh.

    5. Berdasarkan kenyataan rasmi yang dikeluarkan oleh pihak MSSM, mereka telah menyatakan bahawa sebarang isu yang berkaitan dengan hal-hal keagamaan adalah di luar bidang kuasa mereka dan sekiranya isu-isu tersebut dibangkitkan, perkara tersebut hendaklah ditujukan kepada pihak atasan dan bukannya diletakkan di atas mereka. Namun begitu, mereka amat mengalu-alukan sebarang garis panduan yang dikeluarkan oleh pihak MSD bagi memastikan isu-isu sensitif seperti ini tidak berulang lagi.

    Oleh yang demikian, berdasarkan sebab-sebab di atas, MCOT berharap pemilik blog ini memahami kesemua kenyataan di atas. Sehubungan dengan itu, pihak kami ingin menjelaskan bahawa MCOT tidak ada sebarang kaitan dengan petisyen yang disertakan dalam blog ini. Hal ini adalah kerana petisyen ini dibuat pada hari Jumaat 2 April 2010, sebelum mesyuarat bersama wakil persatuan pelajar di Manchester dengan pihak MSD (6 April 2010). Pihak MCOT amat berharap agar tiada sebarang pertuduhan baru lagi ditujukan kepada pihak penganjur. Kami menyokong seratus peratus usaha pihak MSD untuk menyiapkan satu garis panduan buat semua persatuan pelajar di UK dan Ireland agar isu arak seperti ini tidak lagi wujud dan keharmonian antara semua pelajar Malaysia dapat dijalinkan dan diperkukuhkan lagi.

    Yang Menjalankan Tugas,

    Muhammad Afiq Mohd Zain
    21 April 2010 / 7 Jamadil Awal 1431 H
    Penghulu 2010/2011
    Malaysian Community of Old Trafford


    1. On the 19th of March, 2010, the Malaysian Students’ Society of Manchester (MSSM) had collaborated with KNUKE Manchester to bring Malaysian Indie rock outfit Couple to Manchester for a concert. By all measures, it was a successful event.

    2. However, following the event, vicious and baseless rumours had been spread claiming that the organisers (MSSM and KNUKE) had been selling alcohol. The latest in the line of rumours were also that the audience were involved in compromising acts.

    3. A meeting between the leaders of the various Malaysian organisations in Manchester had been conducted, and the MSSM and KNUKE had set the record straight and it the issue was resolved. The matter is laid to rest while all leaders agreed to any forthcoming guidelines from the Malaysian Students’ Department (MSD).

    4. However, the rumours continue to spread and got out of hand. This will be MSSM’s final statement on this issue in hopes of setting the record straight once and for all.

    5. The MSSM is a society for all Malaysians, it is our policy to remain neutral. We will not interfere with the personal sensitivities of individuals as long as they remain legal by law, for this is a private affair and well out of the jurisdiction of the MSSM. However, we will not think twice about interfering if otherwise.

    6. Hence, we did not promote nor sell any alcohol during the Couple concert. We have tried our utmost best to ensure that no alcohol was present, and that a healthy and a suitable environment could be achieved for the event. It is regrettable that if any alcohol was present at the venue, it could have been purchased at the Student Union bar. The MSSM holds that it is not within its power to stop every person coming in with a plastic cup to test their drink to see if any alcohol was present. However, in future events, we will continue to keep our vigilance and ensure such issues will not arise again. However, if any issues exist regarding the presence of alcohol, the blame should not be put upon the organisers of the event but be taken to authorities with jurisdiction over such matters.

    7. It is regrettable that rumours claiming the contrary is still circulating and evolving into harsher and more ludicrous accusations. Such rumours have been seen around blogs, with many remaining anonymous.

    8. These accusations are not backed by any evidence, and the MSSM pleads that readers will see them for what they are- mere rumours- and not make any judgments based on them.

    9. The persons responsible for the spread of the rumours are irresponsible and cowardly. While their actions may be noble, the MSSM feels that the way it is done is highly distasteful and inciteful, and have affected the good relationships between the Malaysian community here in Manchester.
    10. The MSSM will no longer pay heed to such rumours after this official statement of ours unless evidence is produced to back up the rumours. The MSSM will act accordingly and responsibly then.

    11. KNUKE, as a corporate body, however, reserves their right to take any legal action against those responsible for defaming their brand name. While this statement is made with the interest of KNUKE, who are in a similar position as the MSSM, in mind, it is in no way representative of their stand or opinion and they reserve the right to respond as they see fit.

    12. The MSSM, KUSMA, MCOT and IMAM have met once again and we are united in our stand. We do not condone the means by which these allegations are made and spread for it undermines our efforts to unite the Malaysians in Manchester. The leaders have all come to an understanding and that the matter is now closed.

    13. The organisations mentioned in paragraph 12 will individually issue their own Official Statement pertaining to this current issue. The MSSM appreciates the assistance and support of these organisations; we truly value your friendship.

    14. The MSSM aspires to unite all Malaysians in Manchester regardless of creed and colour, and to do this, we must remain forever neutral and legal. That will be our stand in all our events.

    15. We wish to let the issue be a matter of the past, and will no longer entertain any baseless accusations on this matter. We request that all such baseless accusations (existing in anonymous petitions and blogs) implicating the MSSM and KNUKE in such negative light be withdrawn until hard evidence can be shown.

    16. Thank you for your attention.

    Prepared by,

    Tan Shang Neng

    Malaysian Students’ Society of Manchester
    University of Manchester

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