KL grants liquor licences in policy reversal

Sundry shops, convenience stores and Chinese medicine shops have been granted liquor licences again, the Kuala Lumpur City Hall excise licensing board says. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, November 28, 2023.

THE Kuala Lumpur City Hall excise licensing board, after sitting for more than a year, has renewed 1,519 applications for liquor licences in the city, reported Focus Malaysia.

The approvals were for liquor selling applications made by sundry shops, convenience stores and Chinese medicine shops.

This reverses a previous decision by the board in banning sundry shops, convenience stores and Chinese medicine shops from selling liquor, under guidelines enforced on November 1, 2021.

“Although it was an issue back in 2021, the new committee does not see such regulations from a legal perspective,” Sin Chew Daily quoted Excise Licensing Board vice-chairman Pooi Weng Keong as saying, as reported by Focus Malaysia.

“As a multiracial country, we should not be too rigid in implementing regulations to ban liquor at non-halal venues. Foreign tourists are welcome to visit Malaysia and should not shun Kuala Lumpur just because of the liquor ban,” he said.

Pooi reportedly said the liquor issue would be handled in a positive manner due to the Muslim community’s sensitivities.

“Committee members of the excise licensing board will be handling fresh applications and renewals in an open, proactive and positive approach,” he said.

“Being proactive means we try our best not to delay approval of the applications. We will be examining the new applications soon while reviewing the policy set earlier.”

Pooi said the new committee’s next meeting is on December 20.

“The last meeting of the excise licensing board was held in September 2022. The board has not met for more than a year,” he said.

The new committee of the excise licensing board was appointed in mid-October.

Pooi said the board had received 513 new applications for liquor licences and would take some time to approve them. – November 28, 2023.

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