DBKL shouldn't yield on new alcohol sales guidelines — Norman Fernandez

NOVEMBER 18 — The Selangor & Kuala Lumpur Wine and Spirits Chinese Dealers Association, Federation of Sundry Goods Merchants Association are among those who are objecting and opposing DBKL’s new alcohol sales guidelines announced last week.

DBKL’s new guidelines state that with effect from October 1, 2021, all sundry shops, convenience stores and Chinese Medical Halls will no longer be allowed to sell hard liquor. Thus, what is no longer allowed is HARD LiQUOR. DBKL’s new guidelines does not prevent the sale of beers.

For years various NGO’s have been voicing its objection against the sale of hard liquor and have been calling on the government and local councils to stop allowing all this establishments from selling hard liquor.

It is an undeniable fact that almost all the hard liquor sold in these establishments are blended and compounded cheap liquor with high volume alcohol content. Add to that, these establishments also sells samsu often neatly branded as rice wine.

Hardly any Chinese go to these establishments to buy for consumption the hard liquor sold and the establishment’s target customers have always been the foreign workers and poor Indians. Thus, these establishments should stop claiming that the government is going to lose tax revenue and that they are going to suffer huge losses.

In truth, what it means is that these establishments can no longer hawk their cheap hard liquor to foreign workers and poor Indians and by extension losing the huge profit margins they have been enjoying from selling these cheap hard liquor.

These establishments surely know that the can still sell beer and even wine for religious rituals. So, all is not lost. The only loss, being prevented from selling hard liquor.

For far too long these establishments have been profiteering at the expense of foreign workers and poor Indians.

DBKL should not yield nor compromise. Also, DBKL should now also first vet whatever wine sold for religious ceremonies and ensure they are not sold for any other purpose.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer(s) or organisation(s) and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.

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