THE Government’s decision to make it more difficult and expensive to buy liquor from December next year can be attributed to the push by the Malaysian Anti-Cheap Liquor Movement.
Advisor to the movement Dr P. Ramasamy, who is also Penang Deputy Chief Minister II, said the movement has been working hard and the members managed to collect some 50,000 signatures nationwide to protest the sale of cheap liquor.
“This had made the Government listen and our target is to collect 100,000 signatures which will then be handed over to the Health Ministry.”
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam had said that the price of cheap liquor will be raised, which can now be purchased for only RM5 but it will become RM50 from next year onwards.
But the minister, Dr Ramasamy said, failed to explain how this price method will be introduced.
“According to the Food Act 1983, there is no provision for the Health Minister to fix the price or duty on liquor but the Finance Minister can do this by raising the duty.
“Dr Subramaniam should explain whether the Finance Minister who is also Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has agreed to the proposal to increase the price of cheap liquor,” he told a recent press conference at his service centre in Taman Chai Leng, Prai.
Also present were Malaysian Anti-Cheap Liquor Movement president P. David Marshel and secretary Satish Muniandy.
Dr Ramasamy called upon the Health Minister to form a task force made up of members from his ministry, the Finance Ministry, Home Affairs Ministry, Housing and Local Government Ministry, and Domestic Trade and Consumers Affairs Ministry to ensure that the amendments were appropriate and enforcement carried out effectively.
On June 1, Dr Subramaniam announced that the Government will make it more difficult and expensive to buy liquor from December next year.
Health authorities have raised the age limit to buy alcoholic beverages from 18 to 21 and taxes on compounded hard liquor will be increased.