Alcohol licensing task force to be set up

Gunaseelan says the task force is expected to be up and running by January. — filepic

A TASK force under the Federal Territories Ministry and Finance Ministry will be set up to look into issues of alcohol licences in the city.

Set up under the newly formed Excise Licensing Board of Federal Territory Kuala Lumpur (ELBKL), the task force would ensure all rules and regulations pertaining to beer and liquor licences are adhered to.

Board chairman Datuk P. Gunaseelan said the task force would carry out operations around the city to make sure outlet operators follow the operating hours, do not sell contraband liquor and follow other conditions of their licences.

“We plan to have the task force up and running by the second week of next month,” he said in a briefing yesterday.

Gunaseelan, who is also a Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) advisory board member, added that the task force would comprise representatives from the Customs Department, the police, Immigration Department, DBKL, Health Ministry, and Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry.

He said the ELBKL would meet periodically to review and evaluate applications for alcohol licences submitted to DBKL.

“With members from the Customs Department, police and various departments in DBKL, we hope to speed up the process for new applications and renewals legally,” he said.

City Hall statistics showed that until October this year, about 1,144 alcohol licences were renewed while 207 new applications were approved, with a total of 1,351 licences.

“For next year, so far 146 operators have been given conditional approval. The board will meet on Jan 22 to finalise the applications.

“In the meantime, the Customs Department and police will ensure the operators are eligible for the licences,” Gunaseelan said.

Meanwhile, ELBKL deputy chairman Wilson Lau said they supported the decision by Deputy Federal Territories Minister Datuk Dr Loga Bala Mohan to revoke the licences of 11 standalone liquor premises in Brickfields.

“The board has prepared a paper with our recommendations and will submit it to the ministry and Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz sometime next week,” he said.

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