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Why Alcohol Restriction Is The Right Move, Says NGOs

Why Alcohol Restriction Is The Right Move, Says NGOs

DBKL lauded for restrictions on sale of alcohols.

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The public has expressed support on the latest prohibition on alcohol sale imposed by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).

Penang Hindu Association president P. Murugiah believes the ban should be imposed nationwide.

He said a lot of families have been affected due to the husband or son being alcoholics.

The husband would neglect his wife, and in cases where the children are alcoholics, they neglect their parents.

Some end losing up their job due to overdrinking and harass their parents for money.

NGOs have been helping the children to go to school as the husband spent all his money on alcohol. As such, the control on cheap hard liquor will go a long way to protect families.

Penang Hindu Association president P. Murugiah

Murugiah also thanked the government for increasing the tax on alcohol as announced in the recent Budget announcement.

At the same time, he said the government needs to set up rehabilitation centres for alcohol addicts. Right now, the task is being undertaken by NGOs.

Soju is among the alcoholic drinks sold at supermarkets. (Pic credit Fernando Fong/TRP)

Minimal impact on restaurants, coffee shops and sundry stores

Koo Soo Kwong Choon Tong Restaurant and Teahouse Association chairman Vinah Yee said customers usually bring their own hard liquor and pay a corkage fee.

Furthermore, even with just a beer license, many drinks that contains alcohol can still be sold.

For example, consumers can still purchase wine and champagnes as these are usually within the alcohol threshold permissible under a beer license.

Consumer trends are also shifting from alcohol towards much more healthier drinks such as Chinese tea.

Koo Soo Kwong Choon Tong Restaurant and Teahouse Association chairman Vinah Yee

As such, restaurants and coffee shops do not feel threatened by the latest legislation to tackle the harm caused by alcohol, said Yee.

A traditional Chinese eatery in Kuala Lumpur. (Pic credit Fernando Fong/TRP)

Responsible drinking easier said than done

Consumer Association of Penang (CAP) education officer N.V. Subbarow said it is inevitable that some people will get upset when alcohol sale is restricted.

Nevertheless, it is important to have a limitation on the sale of alcohol between certain hours at supermarkets, convenience stores, coffee shops and the like.

He pointed out that in many parts of the country, the sundry shops provide chairs and tables for their customers to drink the liquor.

Very often, it creates arguments and commotions start when the customers got drunk.

In our experience as NGOs, people even killed others when they got into a drunken stupor. Responsible drinking is easier said than done. When you become intoxicated, you are the champion, and no one can control you.

Consumer Association of Penang (CAP) education officer N.V. Subbarow
Beers can still be sold, albeit with restriction on time of sale. (Pic credit Fernando Fong/TRP)

He urged those who want to enjoy alcoholic beverages to drink at home and don’t be a nuisance to the public.

Subbarow also dismiss claims that it will affect the industry, as no shops or companies that rely on selling alcoholic drinks have closed down.

He appealed to them to tone down on promotional activities especially during the festive season as it is a financial burden to drinkers.

Citing an example, he said that low-income spend an average of RM15 per day on cheap liquors when their salary is only about RM50 daily.

Under the latest ruling by DBKL, sundry shops, convenience shops, Chinese medicine halls are prohibited from selling hard liquor starting from Nov 1.

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