No evidence freezing award of alcohol sales licence can curb drink driving, DBKL told

There is no evidence that Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) move to freeze all new applications for licences to sell alcohol will impact the number of accidents caused by drink driving. — itakdalee/ IStock.com pic via AFP
There is no evidence that Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) move to freeze all new applications for licences to sell alcohol will impact the number of accidents caused by drink driving. — itakdalee/ IStock.com pic via AFP

KUALA LUMPUR, June 2 — There is no evidence that Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) move to freeze all new applications for licences to sell alcohol will impact the number of accidents caused by drink driving, Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh said today. 

He said Putrajaya has not even offered any empirical studies or data to show the move would work, following the suggestion made by Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa which prompted DBKL’s response.

“The government has not offered any evidence by way of empirical studies or by any other means to show that halting the issuance of new liquor licences will overcome or reduce incidences of fatal accidents on the road due to drink driving.

“It is hoped that the said amendments to introduce tougher drink driving laws are tabled sooner rather than later in Parliament which will certainly be supported by Pakatan Harapan (PH),” he said in a statement.

Ramkarpal reiterated that one way to address the problem is to introduce harsher punishments for drink-driving-related offences, by tabling it in the Parliament.

“As I have said previously, the then PH government had always been and still is steadfast in its commitment in addressing the problem of drink driving. 

“Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng had proposed a fine for dangerous driving under the influence of alcohol to RM100,000.00 and an increase in the jail sentence for such an offence to a maximum of 20 instead of the current 10 years under the Road Transport Act, 1987 to the Cabinet.

“Former transport minister Anthony Loke was scheduled to present the said amendments this month in Parliament.

“In the circumstances, PH will most certainly support such amendments to reflect harsher penalties for offences related to drink driving in the event it is tabled in Parliament,” he added.

Despite this, Ramkarpal said it is uncertain if Parliament will even convene in July. 

“I hope the Perikatan Nasional government will allow the tabling of such amendments soonest in the next Parliamentary sitting in July, if this does not happen, new businesses such as hotels and restaurants would certainly suffer as they would not be able to apply for alcohol licences,” he added. 

In a brief Facebook post today, DBKL’s Licensing and Petty Traders Development Department made the public announcement, adding that enforcement action would be taken on any premises that sell alcohol without a licence.

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