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Published: Saturday December 14, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Saturday December 14, 2013 MYT 8:14:44 AM

Alcohol ban to cover 374 businesses

No sale: Hotels, pubs, eateries and convenience stores are included in the ban over the weekend. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

No sale: Hotels, pubs, eateries and convenience stores are included in the ban over the weekend. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

THE alcohol ban in Little India this weekend will cover 374 establishments over a large part of the Serangoon Road area.

The affected area is as large as Gardens By The Bay, and includes the popular City Square Mall and Mustafa Centre, as well as hotels, pubs, numerous eateries, coffee shops, liquor shops and 24-hour convenience stores.

Nobody is allowed to sell or consume alcohol in the roughly 1.1 sq km zone which has been declared a “proclaimed area” under the Public Order (Pre­servation) Act for the weekend.

This means anyone who is drunk or disorderly in the area can be arrested for being a public nuisance, said Deputy Com­missioner of Police T. Raja Kumar.

“If the person is completely drunk and rowdy, police may take action to arrest the person,” he said.

“But some may not have realised it because the news of the ban hasn’t percolated down to the last person. Our officers will tell them, if you are cooperative and throw away the alcohol or walk out of the area, that is fine.”

In a joint statement, the police, the Ministry of Manpower and Land Transport Authority highlighted the need “to calm and stabilise the situation” following last Sunday night’s riot.

“This will also allow police to assess the next steps in consultation with the various stakeholders for a more permanent intervention to ensure that a repeat of last Sunday’s riot does not occur, and to restore the sense of safety and security for residents, shopkeepers, visitors and other stakeholders in the area,” it said.

Speaking to reporters in Seoul, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said this weekend’s measures will be just the first step in ensuring order and safety in the area.

Understandably, affected establishments were unhappy. “We wait all week just to get the weekend crowd. The ban will hit our businesses hard,” said Ajay Maddila, director of Zsofi Tapas Bar in Dunlop Street. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

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