Local Wisdom Cannot be Pretext for Legalizing Liquor: MUI Chairman


Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) Chairman M. Cholil Nafis was vociferous in emphasizing that liquor cannot be legalized on grounds of adhering to local wisdom.

"On the basis of local wisdom, liquor still cannot be legalized," Nafis notified reporters in Jakarta on Monday (1/3/2021) in response to the government's policy to allow investment in the liquor industry in several provinces. "I personally do not agree with the liquor investment, although it is only permitted in four provinces," he remarked.

The MUI chairman pointed out that even as some people stood to be benefited by investment in the liquor industry, it would also cause moral damage to society. "I think the policy should be repealed on account of the aspirations of the people, as it is not beneficial for the future of the people. It will may provide investment benefits, but it also causes extensive loss to the people," he cautioned.

"Liquor is still circulating in the market even after we banned it. Hence, of course, it would grow rapidly if it were allowed to be sold at retail prices. Although liquor is marketed in only four provinces, it can spread to other provinces. However, investment returns are not proportional to its impact on the morale of this nation," he stated.

Meanwhile, MUI Deputy Chairman Anwar Abbas also expects the government to not allow investment in the liquor industry. Abbas opined that the government's policy to allow investment in the liquor industry prioritized the interests of entrepreneurs over those of the people.

"If the government is committed to protecting the people, then they should not give permission for businesses that will be harmful to the people," he stated.

The presidential regulation on investment signed by President Joko Widodo on Feb 2, 2021, stipulates that alcoholic beverages and the liquor industry is a business sector for all investors meeting the requirements.

According to the regulation, new investment can be made in the liquor and alcoholic beverage industry in the provinces of Bali, East Nusa Tenggara, North Sulawesi, and Papua based on local culture and wisdom.*ant