Huazong urges govt to rethink move to curb sale of liquor


Compiled by JUNAID IBRAHIM, C.ARUNO and R. ARAVINTHAN

THE Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong) is urging the government to reconsider its recent decision to curb the sale of hard liquor in sundry shops, convenience stores and Chinese medicine shops in Kuala Lumpur, reports Oriental Daily.

Its president Tan Sri Goh Tian Chuan expressed worry after Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Religious Affairs) Ahmad Marzuk Shaary was reported to have said that the alcohol ban in Kuala Lumpur could be expanded to other states as well.

In a statement, Goh criticised the decision, saying that it was made arbitrarily without gathering the views of the rakyat.

“This is a democratic country. In the past 60 years, we have lived together peacefully with mutual tolerance, ” he said.

“Why is this being challenged in recent years? How can one say that a policy cannot be reviewed just because a decision has been made.”

Goh added that he is not against restrictions on the sale of alcohol near Muslim neighbourhoods or mosques, or other reasonable measures such as mandatory verification of age when purchasing alcohol and even a curfew on the sale of alcohol.

He urged the government to review the policy via a transparent and democratic process and by holding dialogues with non-Muslims to gather their views on the matter.

It was earlier reported that the Kuala Lumpur City Hall had issued new guidelines on the criteria for liquor licence applications for existing sundry shops, convenience stores and Chinese medicine shops that sell hard liquor and that these outlets can only renew their liquor licence until Sept 30 next year.

Some of the new guidelines include businesses not being able to sell liquor in front of police stations, places of worship, schools and hospitals.

The above articles are compiled from the vernacular newspapers (Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese and Tamil dailies). As such, stories are grouped according to the respective language/medium. Where a paragraph begins with a >, it denotes a separate news item.

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