No more liquor ban in KL as new DBKL excise licensing board displays a multi-racial tone

LIQUOR sale in Kuala Lumpur will not be subject to any future blanket ban – or uncertainties for that matter – as the new committee members of the Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) Excise Licensing Board has renewed a total of 1,519 applications for liquor licenses in its first meeting held on Nov 23.

Breaking the good news is the Excise Licensing Board vice-chairman Pooi Weng Keong who revealed that applications made by sundry shops, convenience stores and Chinese medicine shops for liquor licenses were approved.

Recall that all sundry shops, convenience stores and Chinese medicine shops were banned from selling liquor under the guidelines enforced on Nov 1, 2021 which prompted the local Chinese community and outlets selling liquors to react strongly against the guidelines.

“Although it was an issue back in 2021, the new committee does not see such regulations from the legal perspective,” Sin Chew Daily quoted Pooi as saying.

“As a multi-racial 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.”

DBKL Excise Licensing Board Vice Chairman Pooi Weng Keong (Pic credit: Sin Chew Daily)

However, with due respect to Muslims, Pooi said the liquor issue would be handled in a positive manner. “Committee members of the Excise Licensing Board will be handling fresh applications and renewals in an open, proactive and positive approach,” he contended.

“Proactive means we try our best not to delay in approving the applications. We will be examining the new applications soon while reviewing the policy set earlier.”

In his telephone interview with Sin Chew Daily, Pooi said the new committee met for the first time after a lapse of more than one year and handled the applications for the renewal of liquor licenses soonest.

“The last meeting of the Excise Licensing Board was held in September 2022. The board has since not met for more than a year,” he revealed.

The new committee members of the Excise Licensing Board received the appointment in mid-October. Pooi said the board had received a total of 513 new applications for liquor licenses and this would require time for approval. The committee will meet again on Dec 20. – Nov 28, 2023

Main pic credit: Malay Mail

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