FT DAP slams DBKL’s liquor sale ban in convenience stores next year, says stakeholders not consulted

Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai said the new ruling violated the rights of non-Muslims as they were guaranteed freedom to practise their culture in the Federal Constitution.. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai said the new ruling violated the rights of non-Muslims as they were guaranteed freedom to practise their culture in the Federal Constitution.. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 — The Federal Territory chapter of DAP has today slammed Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) latest ruling in disallowing liquor sale in convenience stores, Chinese medicine halls and sundry shops set to be enforced from next year onwards.

Its national chairman and Cheras MP Tan Kok Wai said the new ruling violated the rights of non-Muslims as they were guaranteed freedom to practise their culture in the Federal Constitution.

“Before DBKL announced the ruling, did they consult the stakeholders’ view? In addition to making life hard for the affected business, such measures also severely violate the non-Muslim way of life.

“We believe DBKL should withdraw the ruling and allow the aforementioned business owners to maintain their current operating model which has been in place for more than half a century,” he said in a statement here.

Malay Mail obtained a copy of Tan’s statement in Mandarin. 

beer will still be allowed to be sold at these premises from 7am to 9pm but must be placed separately from other beverages.. — Picture by Farhan Najib
beer will still be allowed to be sold at these premises from 7am to 9pm but must be placed separately from other beverages.. — Picture by Farhan Najib

Sundry and grocery shops, convenience stores as well as Chinese medicine shops in Kuala Lumpur will not be allowed to sell hard liquor starting October 1 next year.

However, pure or mixed liquor products in traditional medicine will be exempt from this ruling and beer will still be allowed to be sold at these premises from 7am to 9pm but must be placed separately from other beverages.

According to DBKL’s new guidelines, those eligible for liquor licence applications were entertainment outlets, restaurants, warehouses supplying liquors and programmes serving liquors.

Describing the ruling as a “one-size-fits-all approach” which did not provide a choice for business owners, Tan said such a measure was high-handed and anti-business which was absolutely disagreeable.

“For law-abiding business owners who pay their taxes on time, they are faced with so many existing restrictions and it is difficult to obtain a permit.

“The new rule, which places even more restrictions would definitely cause further unhappiness to industry players,” he said.

He also said it was extremely regrettable that the authorities were cracking down on legitimate businesses when those in the industry were already facing hardships brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic and economic recessions.

Instead, Tan suggested for the government to implement an open and enlightened pro-business policy, providing more incentives and assistance to businesses, restore market confidence and stimulate public consumption for business owners to weather the “harsh winter”.

“At this juncture between life and death for certain businesses ,the government should not make things worse and instead, have an enlightened pro-business policy,” he said.

Tan added the party’s Federal Territories chapter including its MPs will therefore organise a meeting with Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Mahadi Che Ngah to discuss a withdrawal of the new ruling.

“DAP MPs will meet with the affected stakeholders to obtain their views and objections.

“We will also arrange a meeting with the mayor and demand DBKL retract this unfair and unreasonable ruling,” he said, adding that its MPs were similarly taken aback by the new ruling.

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