When politics gets in the way of governing


Emmanuel Joseph

Timah remains a storm in a Malaysian whisky bottle, with lawmakers on both sides of the house offended by the name. – Timah handout pic, November 3, 2021.

OVER the past two weeks, our national budget, booster Covid-19 vaccination doses, SOPs for the Malacca elections, reopening borders, and Malaysia’s exclusion from Singapore’s ‘safe’ list took a distant back seat as MPs, politicians and government ministers saw fit to debate, argue and highlight the issue of Timah – a home-grown whisky that has been around for a few years, and has been winning international awards since 2019.

To further add to the ridicule, the name, a common Malay word meaning “tin” has been stretched rather elastically to suggest a short form of a female name, and a bearded middle-aged man that has actually been named in promotional material as Captain Tristram Speedy, the founder of (mining) town Taiping, has been suggested to be that of an elderly Muslim religious man.


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