Bill banning import of alcohol presented to parliament

A bill banning the importing of alcohol and pork into the Maldives has been presented to the parliament.

The bill was presented by Independent MP Ibrahim Muthalib, which he said amended the list of things that could not be imported to the country under 75/4 of the law on concerning contraband.

”The last time I presented a bill  banning that sale and usage of alcohol on inhabited islands they sent it off the floor claiming that it only bans particular places or areas (inhabited islands),” he said. ”This time I am presenting a bill to ban [alcohol and pork] from being brought inside the country at all.”

He said he hoped that all the MPs would make “a good decision” on the bill after thinking “with a good mind.”

DRP MP Ahmed Rasheed said that he would not support the bill.

”By removing my arms in case I hit someone, by cutting out my tongue in case I talk filth, by blinding my eyes in case I see something that ought not to be watched, by plugging my ears in case I hear something I ought not – I can’t be a Muslim that way,” he said. ”I don’t think there is anyone with so weak a faith.”

People’s Alliances party MP Abdul Azeez Jamal Abu Bakuru said that he “fully supported” the bill.

”I have information that in 1972 alcohol was not imported to the country,” Jamal said. ”It is not a good way to think that its best to be surrounded by sins and not to commit. [For example] it is said to stay away from sex before marriage, and to wait patiently without doing it.”

PA leader and MP Abdulla Yameen said that although the Maldives was a hundred per-cent Muslim country importing alcohol could not be fully banned.

”Look at Jeddah (a Saudi Arabian city on the shores of the Red Sea). It is a city in an Arab Islamic country but you can get alcohol from there,” Yameen said.

Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Parliamentary group leader Moosa Manik claimed he would not support the bill as it was “politically motivated”.