KUALA LUMPUR: City police have clarified that only restaurants are allowed to sell alcohol during this period of movement control order.
This comes after allegations that several police officers ordered bars and restaurants in Bangsar on Friday to stop serving alcohol, failing which the outlets would face a hefty fine.
KL police chief Comm Datuk Saiful Azly Kamaruddin said only restaurants were allowed to sell alcohol during this period.
“Premises with restaurant and bar licences cannot open bar counters and must keep them closed. Only restaurants are allowed to open.
“We are following the instructions from the National Security Council (NSC), ” he said.
Live bands and DJ performances, added Comm Saiful, were still not allowed.
Earlier, Restaurant and Bistro Owners Association legal adviser Datuk David Gurupatham said he hoped that both the Kuala Lumpur mayor and the Federal Territories Minister would make their position clear.
“The burden is on enforcement authorities to show which provision of law they are relying on, ” he said via WhatsApp.
The association’s media liaison Jeremy Lim said several members had called him over the matter.
“The federal government has allowed restaurants to operate within the set SOP, ” he pointed out, claiming that a similar situation had occurred in May last year when restaurants were allowed to reopen for dining in.
Lim said the current restriction was for pubs and clubs not to serve food and not the other way around.
NSC guidelines state that only nightclubs, pubs and bars are not allowed to operate but outlets that serve food and beverage, including alcohol, are permitted to open.
Owner of Ronnie Q’s restaurant and bar, Ronald Quay, said his manager told him that police had directed him to stop selling alcohol or be issued with a fine.
He said when they asked for further explanation, they were told to get information from the NSC.
“We were told to stop serving alcohol or face a fine, ” said the manager of The Origin and Shuruti Box, Siva Shankar, adding that the officers were from the Pantai police station.
KL mayor Datuk Seri Mahadi Che Ngah said he was not aware of the reasons behind the police enforcement in Bangsar on Friday.
“I will check and find out what’s going on, ” he said.
Last year, Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa clarified that restaurants with liquor licences could serve alcoholic beverages to dine-in customers.
He said businesses with restaurant licences could operate as long as they followed NSC rules.