Movement upset with cheap liquor ban setback


GEORGE TOWN: The Malaysian Anti-Cheap Liquor Movement is disappointed that compounded hard liquor in small glass bottles will still allowed to be sold until August.

Its president P. David Marshel said the Health Ministry decided to postpone the enforcement, which was supposed to come into effect in May.

He said the Health Ministry gazetted the rule in June 2016, and gave manufacturers over a year-long grace period before the enforcement of the new ruling on alcohol sales came into effect on Dec 1, 2017.

“However, they kept postponing the enforcement. When they finally decided to enforce it this May, the Health Ministry again decided to postpone it to August,” he said yesterday.

It was earlier reported that compounded hard liquor can only be sold in glass bottles with a minimum 700ml content.

That means that alcohol sold in small bottles would be effectively banned.

In a letter dated April 22, Health Ministry’s Food Safety and Quality senior director Norrani Ekban issued a reply to Malaysia Liquor Manufacturer and Bottler Association representative A. Shanmuganathan that his appeal was accepted and enforcement on Rule 386A(2) of the Food Regulation Act 1985 would be extended for another three more months, from May to August this year.

It also stated that enforcement on Rule 386A(2) would start in August.

Marshel said the matter was a public health issue and urged the Health Ministry to stop postponing the enforcement.

“Why is the ministry giving manufacturers so much time? This is related to the people’s health,” he said.

“When small bottles of liquor become cheap and affordable, people get drunk easily and teenagers can afford them too.

“If the price is high, it will prevent teenagers and the public from easily getting them off the shelves.”


   

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