PETALING JAYA: Recent controversies over homegrown whisky Timah and making jokes about rape arose because of people with “warped mindsets”, says Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz (pic).
The former international trade and industry minister was commenting on the name of local whisky Timah that courted the wrath of PAS and other groups due to its Bahasa Malaysia name as well as actor Fauzi Nawawi who made jokes about rape while on a talk show.
Rafidah said no one should take lightly and joke about things that impact lives, such as rape or any form of abuse.
She describing the rape jokes as “disgusting”, and criticised those with “narrow chimney minds” making light of such a serious issue.
“It is so upsetting to hear and read about how warped mindsets amongst some people can trigger unnecessary problems and leave a negative impact.
“It is deplorable to make light of such life-impacting abuses,” she said in a statement on Thursday (Oct 21).
A video of actor Fauzi in a recent interview had gone viral, where he spoke about a role he played where his character raped a woman.
The scene was shot for the 2007 film Anak Halal but did not make the final cut.
On the controversy surrounding the whiskey brand Timah, Rafidah said no one could impose their religion on anyone else and that it must be emphasised that Malaysia was a multi-cultural and multi-faith society.
Rafidah warned against injecting religion into every narrative and dictating what others should do, saying this would lead to divisiveness, conflict and intolerance.
“Each person should not feel entitled to dictate what others regard as acceptable to their race or religion.
“Islam is a religion of moderation and imposing one’s will on people of other religions is a reflection of going the way of intolerance and extremism.
“Sometimes, behind the facade of sanctimonious preaching and utterances, lies hypocrisy,” she said.
The award-winning Timah whiskey was criticised by a certain quarters who claimed that its name alluded to Prophet Muhammad’s daughter Fatimah and that the picture on its label looked like a man wearing a skullcap.
The company manufacturing Timah had since explained that the name Timah refers to tin mining in colonial Malaya and the man depicted on its label is Captain Tristam Speedy, an English officer in Malaya during the British colonial era.