PETALING JAYA: Retailers and manufacturers are not going to follow the new regulation on the sale and display of compounded hard liquor (CHL) if there is no enforcement, says anti-cheap liquor crusader P. David Marshel.
“This is a complete U-turn from what they (Government) promised. Regulations without enforcement are useless. I am very disappointed to hear about this,” said David, who is the president of the Malaysian Anti-Cheap Liquor Movement.
Since early December, he said they had been making random visits to retailers to collect data on the effects of the new rules and the results have been disappointing.
“We discovered hypermarkets, sundry shops and Chinese medicine outlets are still selling cheap liquor in small bottles; and the mandatory signage and warning labels were not displayed,” he said.
The movement has been pushing for stronger enforcement on liquor laws for years.
Last year, members managed to collect some 50,000 signatures nationwide in a petition to protest the sale of cheap liquor.
“When we heard that the government was gazetting the laws to curb the sale of cheap liquor, we stopped our petition drive as we had faith in what the government was doing, but that was a premature decision on our part,” David said.
Malaysian Tamil Kural – a non-governmental organisation that champions Indian issues – was appalled to hear about the ministry’s decision not to enforce the ruling.
Its Kuala Lumpur and Selangor chairman Annadurai Subramaniam described the availability of cheap CHL as a menace to the Indian society, especially its lower income group.
“There must be political will to stop this problem and not a half-hearted attempt by the government.
“Youths as young as 13 are already consuming cheap liquor and this does not bode well for families and society,” he said.
Star Metro reported on Dec 11 that most retailers and hypermarkets are not following the regulations on the sale and display of CHL.
In our cover story with the heading Kids still getting booze easily, we discovered that CHL was still being sold in small bottles and openly to children as young as 14.
Mandatory warnings and notices were also not displayed on bottles or in stores.