KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 — Dewan Rakyat deputy Speaker Nga Kor Ming was prompted to explain about Oktoberfest, which is often misinterpreted as a liquor festival, to ease the dispute of several members of parliament regarding the event.
Nga, who chaired the debate session on the Mid-Term Review of the 11th Malaysia Plan this afternoon, read the history of the Oktoberfest to members of Dewan Rakyat, saying the Oktoberfest and the liquor festival were two different things altogether.
He said Oktoberfest, which originated from Germany, was a royal programme
“The History of the Oktoberfest. Crown Prince Ludwig, later to become King Ludwig I, was married to Princess Therese of Saxony (Saxony-Hildburghausen) on October 12, 1810. The citizens of Munich were invited to attend the festivities held on the fields in front of the city gates to celebrate the happy royal event.
“History of Oktoberfest is a royal programme in Germany but when it is translated into a liquor festival it brings another meaning. This is a bit of the record that I am correcting,” he said.
Earlier, Kubang Kerian Member of Parliament Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man raised the matter in his debate, describing the Oktoberfest as a culture that was not suitable for promotion in the country as it could damage the people’s morals.
“What values do we need to plant in the people? I think that all religions do not agree to turn drinking liquor into a culture, no religion agrees, no research showed that it fosters goodness.
“This value does not correspond to local culture and is not suitable for mass promoting to make it a phenomenon in our country,” he said.
However, the other members of Parliament did not agree to the statement.
Bukit Bendera Member of Parliament Wong Hon Wai expressed his dissatisfaction with the action of linking the Oktoberfest, hosted by the Malaysia-Germany Association in Penang recently, as a liquor festival.
He said the party was an international cultural festival like ‘Thai Festival’.
“Germans are big investors in Malaysia and in certain states ... if it’s an international festival as organised by the Malaysian-German Society, I think it’s not a problem,” he said.
Wong’s statement was refuted by the Pendang Member of Parliament Awang Hashim, who was of the stand that if Oktoberfest was organised, it was feared to bring numerous ‘bad things’ such as sexual harassment.
The Dewan Rakyat sitting continues tomorrow. — Bernama