THE issue over the sale of alcoholic drinks in Shah Alam has put it in the limelight in 2009.
The city, which has a predominantly Muslim population, was the centre of attention when some of the residents lodge complaints on the sale of drinks containing less than 8% of alcohol, especially to the underaged and Muslims.
This led to the Selangor state government imposing self-regulation among those selling such drinks.
Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim had said that self-regulation was the most appropriate action to appease the sellers, buyers and the community.
“We cannot just stop the sale of alcohol. Stopping it will not solve social problems.
“We do not need too many laws but we do need to respect each others needs regarding business, culture and the community,” said Khalid when announcing the decision in August.
That decision gave the authorities who were caught in the middle a respite. Earlier, the authorities, including MBSA and the religious authority, were caught in a dilemma over the issue as sale of such drinks (with alcohol content of less than 8%) do not require a licence and only requires consent from the Customs Department. This is the reason why such drinks are easily available at sundry shops and 24-hour convenience stores like the 7-eleven.
Despite the numerous complaints from the residents, the city council does not have the authority to prevent the shops from selling liquor as it does not issue permits for the sale of liqour.
The local authority however, issues the business permits for all premises in the city.
It is different from the sale of drinks containing more than 8% of alcohol content where traders are required to obtain a licence from the District Office. The licence is issued to hotels, restaurants, club houses and Chinese medicinal shops.
In efforts to boost awareness on the implementation of self regulatory exercise in the selling of alcoholic beverages in the city, Shah Alam mayor Datuk Mazalan Md Noor went around to give out stickers, brochures and posters to convenience stores in the city.
The stickers, brochures and posters were placed at the entrance to the premises, at payment counters and pasted on the refridgerators where the drinks are kept to remind customers of the rules.
Up to now, about 20 convenience stores in Shah Alam have voluntarily stopped selling alcoholic beverages.