KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 23 — The Melaka state government must explain why it directed the Ayer Keroh Country Club to ban alcohol sales yesterday, said Ayer Keroh assemblyman Kerk Chee Yee.

The DAP lawmaker added that failing to explain the reason for the ban could jeopardise Melaka’s image as a tourism destination, which he would only hurt the industry that was still trying to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Did the state government impose such a ban because of any wrongdoing by the premises or its customers, such as breaching licensing requirements? If not, what triggers the state government to impose such a ban?” he said in a statement here today.

“This sends a wrong signal to all the F&B business owners in Melaka as well as any potential investors of the business segment, especially at this point in time when they are struggling to keep up with the post-pandemic recovery phase of the economy,” he said.

Kerk also said the directive suggested the misplaced priorities of the state government, at a time that Melaka was battling health, economic and weather crises.

The elected representative said there were far more pressing issues for the government’s attention that the regulation of alcohol sales at one golf club.

“Such as the flood mitigation plan for Melaka — part of Barisan Nasional PRN manifesto, post-pandemic economic recovery plan — raised by Melaka PH several times in state assembly sessions — or explaining the recently exposed scandals of MWEZ project where some 300 acres of land reclamation projects were awarded to four companies owned by Umno leaders,”, he said.

Yesterday, the AKCC announced on its Facebook that the government had prohibited the sale of alcohol anywhere on its premises.

Membership at the AKCC attracts a charge of RM30,000 for Malaysians and RM50,000 for foreigners, while civil servants need only pay RM2,000 for the lifetime privileges.

According to the club’s website, AKCC is managed by Ayer Keroh Country Club Bhd whose board of directors are nominated by the Melaka state government.

The current chairman is former PKR lawmaker Datuk Muhammad Jailani Khamis, who quit the party during the “Sheraton Move” of 2020 and later joined Umno.