Seputeh MP Teresa Kok today took Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim to task, branding him and the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) authorities responsible for liquor sale licensing in Kuala Lumpur as clueless.
During her debate on Budget 2022 on the ministry, Kok also questioned the absence of a guideline permitting the sale of liquor in the capital city, lamenting that business owners are left clueless.
“I want to remind the minister that actually, in his previous winding-up speech, he said that the government has permitted convenience stores, grocery stores to sell liquor, but until now the guidelines are still not issued. So, I want to know, where is that guideline?
“When I look at it, minister, I do not know who drafted the guideline and the application manner for the DBKL’s liquor licence, because I feel that the presentation format is so bad.
“For those members in the liquor licensing board, I feel they too don’t know and are as ‘blur’ as the minister. They don’t know about the law, they don’t know the liquor sale industry, they don’t know the procedures, and worst, the letter from the liquor sellers’ industry, when sent to the minister, the minister does not read. When sent to the licensing board, they don’t read either. They don’t know the content, they don’t understand.
“What they do is, what the minister says, they just follow becoming pak turut only,” she added, using the Malay term for “yes men”.
Kok was among several federal lawmakers who recently have urged the DBKL and Shahidan to reverse the decision to prohibit the sale of liquor at all convenience stores, grocery stores, and Chinese medicine halls.
Shahidan previously defended the ruling in the Dewan Rakyat, stating that the ban was to ensure alcohol would not be made available in public places and to curb social problems and ensure that those under the age of 21, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, would not easily get their hands on alcoholic beverages.
Under the new prohibition, beer will still be allowed to be sold although only between 7am and 9pm, and placed away from other beverages. – MMO