KUCHING, Dec 7 — The requirement for coffee shops to obtain a licence to sell beer from next year does not apply to Sarawak, SUPP president Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said today.

The incumbent Batu Kawah state assemblyman said during a press conference here that the state has autonomy over the specific matter.

“For the past few days, people have been talking about alcohol sales. Under Sarawak, the Local Authority Ordinance (provides autonomy) and most people do not realise it and whatever is happening in West Malaysia, it’s not my job (responsibility).

“It’s no issue for Sarawak because we (our coffee shops) have been selling alcohol for so long. And luckily, we had all this Sarawak own autonomy; that’s why for Covid-19 (management), only Sabah and Sarawak have exercised their own autonomy through the state's disaster management committee,” he said.

However, he did not say if the Sarawak government would amend the Local Authorities Ordinance 1966 to synchronize with the federal government.

From January 1, the federal government will require coffee shops to apply for a licence specifically to sell beer from January 1 onwards, based on a previously unenforced provision under the Excise Regulations 1977.

Dr Sim will face four other candidates in the upcoming Sarawak state election including DAP’s Dr Kelvin Yii alongside two other candidates for Batu Kawah seat.

Polling for the election will be on December 18.