Deputy minister Rosol: Licensed premises can sell liquor during lockdown

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Liquor can be sold on licensed premises such as convenience stores and supermarkets, said Rosol Wahid, hours after saying they could not.

The deputy domestic trade and consumer affairs minister said the ban by the National Security Council (NSC) was only on breweries and liquor manufacturers.

He said the ban included outlets that sold liquor exclusively.

“The NSC has decided that the sale of liquor at outlets that have the licence to sell liquor is allowed.

“The NSC’s standard operating procedures (SOP) do not allow for factories manufacturing liquor and premises which sell only liquor to operate during the current lockdown which began on June 1.

“This SOP by NSC also indirectly includes a ban on operations of the premises that exclusively sell liquor such as liquor stores and pubs.

Bernama

“However, supermarkets, mini-marts and convenience stores which have the licence to sell liquor are allowed to sell them to non-Muslim customers.

“This is because these supermarkets, mini-marts and convenience stores are allowed to operate during MCO 3.0 as they also sell various other basic-need items which are categorised as essentials,” Rosol said in a statement this evening.

Earlier today, Rosol told The Vibes that the sale of alcoholic beverages is banned at all premises during the 14-day total lockdown.

However, the deputy domestic trade and consumer affairs minister said cigarettes can continue to be sold, although it fell within the non-essential category.

“This is because liquor is categorised as a non-essential item by the National Security Council (NSC),” he was quoted as saying by news portal The Vibes.

Rosol clarified that his earlier statement that cigarettes are allowed to be sold in all these stores, although they are not considered essential goods, was because cigarettes are usually found at all stores, even sundry shops.

Rosol’s comments came after confusion arose on whether hypermarkets and grocers could sell alcoholic beverages, following a move by police to shut down a liquor store in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur.

There were also reports that hypermarkets in Kuala Lumpur were allegedly told to stop the sale of alcohol.

Yesterday, Brickfields police ordered the store in Bangsar to shutter after it was found to be operating under an authorisation letter by the International Trade and Industry Ministry.

In a statement later, Brickfields police chief Anuar Omar said the action was based on SOP set by NSC, which does not list alcohol as an essential item.

Federal Territories Minister Annuar Musa told The Star that there was no ban on the sale of liquor in the Federal Territories, especially Kuala Lumpur, during the lockdown, but there is a ban on serving liquor.

“There is no such ban by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) unless those premises selling them were not licensed for such activities in the first place.

Bernama

“As for supermarkets, they are allowed to open and therefore can sell liquor if they have the licence to sell it. It is very clear,” said Annuar.

In a statement, DBKL said premises that only sell alcoholic beverages are not allowed to operate during the lockdown, however, the sale of such drinks is still allowed at convenience stores or supermarkets. – TMI