It’s official! Legal drinking age now 21

Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam says Putrajaya has raised the legal drinking age to 21 from 18. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam says Putrajaya has raised the legal drinking age to 21 from 18. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 ― Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam confirmed today that Putrajaya has raised the legal drinking age to 21 from 18 and imposed health warnings on alcohol products effective December 1, 2017.

Dr Subramaniam also said the Food (Amendment) Regulations 2016 gazetted last month included new rules on compounded hard liquor (CHL), which is defined as a blend of two or more types of spirits like whiskey, rum, vodka and brandy, that will only be allowed to be sold in glass bottles with a minimum volume of 700ml.

“The amendments are in line with the ‘Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol’ that was accorded to by all health ministers during the 63rd World Health Assembly in 2010 to reduce the availability of alcoholic drinks in the market,” he said in a statement on his Facebook page.

“The amendment of the regulations comprise amendments to the current Regulation 361 on the general standard for alcoholic beverage and introduce a new Regulation 386A on compounded hard liquor,” he added.

Dr Subramaniam said violating Regulation 386A on CHL was punishable with a fine not exceeding RM5,000 or imprisonment not more than two years.

It is unclear if Regulation 386A applies to cocktails served at restaurants or bars.

Malay Mail Online reported last Saturday Malaysia’s new alcohol regulations that include the prohibition of the sale of alcoholic beverages to those aged below 21 years and the imposition of a health warning that says in Malay, “Consuming alcohol can be hazardous to health”, on the labels of alcohol products.

The new Regulation 361(5) of the Food (Amendment) Regulations 2016 also states that alcohol products shall be displayed in a separate display cabinet or shelf from the one used for food.

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