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How the spirit of Capt Speedy landed in an unholy row
[Image: timah-whiskey-191021-2.jpg]

PETALING JAYA: A Malaysian-made whisky, a rarity in itself, which won international awards last year became the target of complaints days after its international launch at an online event.

Complaints started circulating on social media about its name, Timah, which some construed to be a contraction of Fatimah, daughter of Prophet Muhammad.

Objections were also made about the label’s imagery, of colonial-era police chief and administrator Tristram Speedy, known as Captain Speedy.

The social media comments led to the Consumers’ Association of Penang calling for a ban on its production, saying the use of the name Timah, which means tin in Malay, was offensive to Muslims.

[Image: timah-whiskey-191021.jpg]

Others, including Penang mufti Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor and religious affairs minister Idris Ahmad, also chimed in.

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Letter – What say you, Timah? – Hafiz Hassan

[Image: Timah_Whiskey_Pic_Courtesy_of_Timah.jpg]

I REFER to your report “What’s in a name? Controversy surrounds Timah whiskey over perceived namesake”.

Women’s rights activist Ivy Josiah was reported to have lambasted detractors of the award-winning Malaysian-made Timah whiskey, saying: “This is a perfect example of making a mountain out of a molehill.”

“In fact, I feel silly having to respond to this manufactured offence.”

I must say that I’m disappointed with Ivy. If you are a rights activist, you are a rights activist for all. You stand up for the rights of all – like the rights of one Vicki Noble, who was offended by the beer name and label Lost Abbey’s Witch’s Wit Belgian White.

A 2010 New York Times article reported that Noble – famous in the pagan and Wiccan communities for her astrology readings, shamanic healing, and writings about goddess spirituality – said she and other members of the pagan and Wiccan community were personally offended by the pale ale’s depiction of a witch being burned at the stake.

The bottle has a painting of a witch being burned at the stake. Noble wrote to her email list, with a subject line: “Can we stop this brewer from their hate imagery?”

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Timah is a metal, not a Muslim name, explains Tuan Ibrahim

[Image: tuan-ibrahim-tuan-man-fmt-180821-1.jpg]

PETALING JAYA: A PAS leader has stepped in to quell the Timah whisky controversy, clarifying that Timah means tin and is “not a Muslim name or even a person’s name”.

Deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man also said that whatever the brand name or logo, liquor was still “haram” in Islam, but the rights of non-Muslims to drink it had to be taken into account.

Instead, he said, Muslims need to stay away from alcohol in all situations.

“It is better for us to educate Muslims to stay away from alcohol but the rights of non-Muslims also need to be looked at,” he said.

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The Timah scrap – much ado about a non-issue, say groups

[Image: TImah-Captain-Speedy-label-bottle.jpg]

PETALING JAYA: The controversy over the Timah whisky brand should not degenerate into “shouting matches of racial and religious bigotry” but should instead be decided by existing laws on trade description and trademarks, say two civil society groups.

Centre for a Better Tomorrow (Cenbet) and the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH) have urged the critics to refer to the existing legal and constitutional system on trade description and trademarks.

KLSCAH believes that any change in name for the award-winning, locally manufactured Timah should not be deliberately hyped and distorted into a religious issue by politicians.

Instead, it said, people need to analyse the brand’s registered trademark from a legal standpoint, and whether or not it complies with the laws of the country.

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