The tax, ALONE, on this beer is MORE than it's duty-free (untaxed) market value.
This kind of reminds me of the employers withholding tax (where employers "take away" money earned by their employees on behalf of the government and then issue a paycheck that has been discounted for withholding tax), because if employees could actually receive ALL of the money that THEY EARNED and THEN be made to pay the government from their own pockets, there would be a social uprising on such a massive scale tat it would eclipse the American Civil War.
I would like to see our government try to tax coffee and tea to the same extent that it does gas,
Brings to mind the Boston tea party. I'd like to snorkle over there with some friends, surface below where they are pouring, and just open wide while they pour--"the malaysian beer party". Wearing water wings for safety of course.
Alcohol attracts a very heavy duty in Malaysia. They call it a "sin tax".
The native Malay population (who are pretty much all Muslim) don't drink, but the Chinese, Indians and whites do. As the government is dominated by Malay, this is a great way to raise revenue from their perspective.
When I travel to Malaysia from the UK, beer is just about the only thing that's more expensive than in the UK. You can get a big bowl of noodles (enough for dinner) for RM 4 at a hawker stall, but a small can of beer will set you back about RM 6 or so. 1 GBP is about RM 6.5.
You have to wonder if all that beer is really going down the drain though. Malaysia is quite a corrupt country compared to the UK.
A little bit of trivia: they have the death penalty for drug smuggling in Malaysia. When the plane is about 30 mins from landing, they announce this over the speakers - it's always before the seatbelt sign comes on for landing. It sounds like a hint saying "this is your last chance to flush it".