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KUCHING, Sept 23: Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association (SDGA) president Dr Dusit Jaul has called on the government to close down licensed factories or distillers producing cheap liquor.
He hoped the operations of those moonshining in villages or in rural Sarawak would be shut down too.
Probably the Health Ministry could be entrusted to close down the factories, while the Customs Department act on the moonshiners, he proposed.
Dusit said there were two types of cheap liquor available to rural folks. One is produced in factories or distillers mainly in the Central Region and is centralised in Sibu. There are many brands of this type of locally produced cheap liquor, the most famous being ‘Cap Langkau’, which has resulted in all cheap locally produce liquor being generally known as ‘langkau’.
He said the alcohol content of ‘langkau’ is as high as 40 per cent.
The other type of cheap liquor is the home-brewed variety produced by rural villagers.
“In every village, there are one to two individuals producing this type of home-brewed liquor. It is an open secret,” Dusit told DayakDaily.
He said before any untoward incident — such as the case in Klang Valley where 25 people died after consuming cheap liquor — happened here in Sarawak, it would be good for the government to take preventive measures.
“Close down all the outlets producing cheap liquor because it is very harmful to health. This is to be taken as a preventive measure before something bad happens.
“There are other means to earn revenue. We don’t have to make money out of cheap liquor,” opined Dusit.
He claimed that the practice of drinking cheap liquor was rampant in the rural areas, where drinking is the pastime of many.
“If we don’t want a intoxicated society, we have to take immediate steps to regulate the production of cheap liquor,” he reckoned.
While waiting for a government decision, he suggested that the relevant authorities check the content of cheap liquor in the market.
“I am calling on politicians, especially Dayak politicians, to do something about this. I may not have the statistics, but alcohol brings about social issues, and one of them being domestic violence.
“In my kampung in Serian, there are people who have a lot of debts because of their addiction to alcohol. In my kampung, there are also those who die young due to alcoholism or alcohol-related health issues. There are many other social problems arising from heavy indulgence in drinking,” lamented Dusit. — DayakDaily