Alcohol-tax time??

Budget 2012 will be tabled next week by the government.

Will the tax on alcohol be raised further, although it’s already one of the world’s highest?

I dont know. An outlet owner told me this – “my supplier advised me to order extra stock  now as the tax is going up.”

Malaysian drinkers - screwed for years by the govt and the outlets

Maybe its a rumuor. Either way, that’s why Alcon exists – to fight for fair prices for us from the government and outlets.

Alcon has gotten a lot of media and publicity lately. Hopefully there’s an impact.

We plan a submit a memo to the Ministry of Finance in a few days, so please dont just sign it, but publicize and get your friends to sign too. If we dont hit at least 1.000 signatures, there’s no point handing it over.

Click here.

Do it!

 

PS: Catch the live interview with Alcon reps on BFM (89.9) this Friday at about 6.30pm with me and Ben Ng. Yea!

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Alcon’s in dahaus!

Alcon has officially launched!

It’s been a journey that began in October last year very urgently and informally. And now, with  5,000 members (one of our launch objectives), Alcon (facebook.com/groups/myalcon) is ready to step-up and take it further.

The Alcohol Consumer-Rights Group Malaysia launch happened Saturday afternoon, at Souled Out Cafe in Sri Hartamas. The weather was chilled n perfect, as the rain had stopped in time for d party.

We were treated to loads of Guinness and Tiger Draughts, courtesy of GAB. A good crowd of about 200 members showed up.

Food was pretty awesome.

Crowd havin fun

Biresh MC-ed for us, another volunteer-resource among Alcon membership’s many talents. Another member Khang, who’s a good artist, designed the new logo, also pro bono. And G2 handled the media, on the house. Thanks Vivian & crew!

Well, speeches at Alcon events aren't that serious. Drink break

After i did a short speech on our next steps, etc, it was time for laughter. Douglas Lim was ridiculous! His stand-up comedy had everyone laughing their nuts off. Dude sure knows how to work the crowd.

He had some good yellow jokes

Then blues-rockers Rollin Sixers took d stage (also patriots for the cause and Alcon members, so no charge of course). The boys didnt disappoint, with a stylish one-hour set.

Bluesy

We’re lookin at gettin more media and online coverage over the next few weeks and months. Any help / contacts here would be welcome. It’s already out in The Sun here and a Chinese paper over the last few days. Will update re media coverage in d future.

The start of something interesting

Pre-event, we had support from bloggers like Shaolin Tiger, Eyeris, BeerBeer, JUICE Online, Adoi mag, and a few others.

Consumers in Sabah want us to do an event there as well. Haha.

Thank you for those who helped. You know who you are! And even if all u did was add your drinking friends into the Alcon FB group, thanks.

Thanks also to S’mores in Bangsar South, which form the start, offered the outlet for free for Alcon’s event, with food thrown in. However, we needed a large outlet and did it in Souled Out. S’mores has some really good promos, like $15 nett for a pint of Strongbow on certain days. S’mores is a supporter of Alcon. Check it out.

Unfortunately most outlets weren’t supportive of our efforts last year, and i dont expect them to change this year. Maybe they dont want people to know that they mark-up their drinks by up to 300 percent! They’re also guilty as the government for the situation alcohol consumers face.

But you know what, support among consumers has been great! I guess once people are aware of the issues (most aren’t), they’re all for it. Some even get upset. So it’s only a matter of time, and this issue could snowball.

Flyer

So join the fight here. (Our Group page has 5,000+ members, but we’ve just created this Fan page). To know more, click Info on that page.

Anybody wants to be on the Alcon committee, pls contact me.

With Kennhyn (Vice-President) and Min Jie (Alcon Taxation Consultant). Hmmm. I think we'll also need a mascot soon. Homer? Haha

Phase 1 is underway, Phase 2 happens soon.

Among the alcohol companies in Malaysia, Guinness Anchor Bhd has been very supportive of us consumers and our launch. All you drinkers in the country owe them one!

 

Brain damage: 8/10

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Malaysia Top 10 my ass

The Star ran an article a coupla weeks ago, claiming Malaysia is in the Top 10 for alcohol consumption in the world.

Flattering, but totally false.

It quoted a deputy minister Heng Seai Kie, saying things like we’re alcos, bla bla bla. The journalist and editors just took it as gospel and ran the story, creating all sorts of reactions and consequences.

Maybe it’s part of an excuse to raise the tax on alcohol even higher this October, then probably we’ll have the highest tax in the world!

Prices are high enough

I wrote a letter to them on behalf of Alcon (Alcohol Consumer Rights Group), telling them the real situation, and giving them links to actual data.

Unfortunately, they didnt publish the letter, nor did they run an appropriate clarification. Biasa la. Screw up and dont wanna admit. So i guess its up to me to clear the air, once and for all. (The link to the letter is here.)

In the drinking world, Malaysia ranks 167th. That’s right. 167.

How dehell did we suddenly become Top 10?

It was based on some obscure report (available online but i wont bother to link) by Consumer Association of Penang. CAP’s president SM Idris is kinda militant alcophobic.

Must have had a bad experience.

Either way, the grandad aint gonna defend drinkers’ rights, thats for sure. If it was up to him, drinking would be illegal.

Anyway, according to WHO’s (World Health Organization) global report, the average consumption on Earth is 6.2 liters of pure alcohol per human per year. Malaysia’s annual intake in merely 0.82 liters / person. (The Star said 7 liters!) And WHO also states that 97% of Malaysians are abstainers. WHO’s report on Malaysia here.

Malaysia might be ranked low, but we sure know how to party eh

This Top 10 bullshit has been around for a few years. It’s a myth that i hope is finally busted.

Hence, the need for Alcon to enlighten journalists, public, NGOs, government, etc. And to push for a freeze on taxes until 2020. Pls join the group as we need support. And suggest to friends too. 5,000 members would be a good figure.

Good news is Alcon will be having its official launch early next month, and all members are specially invited to d party. Watch the group page!

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Drinks, dirty cops & roadblocks

Cops here are generally dirty, at all levels, even way up high (or maybe especially). That’s the presumption. The cops on the street are no different. But u do normally have a choice – bribe, or accept the fine/arrest. As far as possible, take the fine.

The other option is doing the designated driver (and designated drunk) thing.

Fortunately, i havent offered a bribe for years. I hope to keep it that way.

Anyway, some of ’em are crooks who con you that you’re breakin d law, even when u aren’t. Thats real fucked-up. Licensed thugs.

It happened to a good buddy of mine last month. He had a coupla drinks (just 4 pints of Guinness over three hours), and was driving home from Sri Hartamas, when he encountered a block. The cops ask to check his breath for DUI.

Dude complies and blows into the breathalyzer. The reading shows red. He asks for the other breathalyzer, the one that shows a proper reading. He blows and scores a 50, ie .005%. Which means he passed, as it was well under the 80 limit.

The pigs say he failed, saying that the unit’s reading of 50 meant he was over the limit by 50, coz the unit’s ‘start level’ is 8o. 50 is how much you’re over the limit.

So 50+80 = 130. Haha! What a fucking stupid argument.

Obviously my buddy disputes this. He calls me up (while i’m clubbing!) and asks for advise. I say (or rather yell over the music) “they’re talkin shit. Nevermind! Tell them OK, and to issue you a ticket for drink-driving. So u can nail them later for talking crap.”

They then say they need to confirm the test by taking him back to the station, and do a blood test blah blah blah. He asks them whether he is under arrest, and the punks say no. Which meant he could leave, but they say they cant allow him to drive. One pig says he’ll drive his car to the station for him.

To cut the shit short and spare him further tests and complications, he pays them off.

Fuckers. Extorting the public and making their own law. If they can shoot dead unarmed 14-year-olds, what’s a little extortion?

The legal is made illegal, and the illegal becomes legal. Courtesy of none other than the ‘law enforcers’.

I repeat what i said last month. Drink-driving is allowed, unless ur over the limit. To know the limit, BAC details, etc, u can refer to How to Drink & Drive.

Also, to know your rights when cops try to jerk you, read the Red Book. It’s a must-read brochure that will take you 10 minutes and give you some leverage in such situations. Most people dont realize that the porkies can only ask you to go with them if ur under arrest. Otherwise, u are doin them a favour by not leaving.

And to conduct an arrest, they need to fulfill certain conditions.

Walking away is a last resort tho.

My technique is to be as civil and reasonable as possible (until i lose my patience that is). Generally, if ur nice to them, there’s a good chance u’ll get away without paying them or a fine. (I once breathalyzed a high-score of 160 (personal best) and got away.) But if that dont work, know and exercise your rights.

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