By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, June 3: Following the recent decision by Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur to freeze the issuance of new liquor licences, Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian clarifies it will not affect Sarawak.
He explained that this is because the issuing of liquor licence is under the jurisdiction of local governments, where the Sarawak government has full autonomy.
“The local governments in Sarawak are autonomous from Putrajaya in this regard. They operate under our own Sarawak Local Government Ordinance.
“This is to say, the recent decision of DBKL to freeze the issuing of new liquor licences has no effect on Sarawak,” Dr Sim told DayakDaily.
DBKL made the decision after responding to the call of Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa for the government to stop issuing licences for the sale of liquor until laws regarding drunk driving are in place.
The sale of alcohol has been associated with drunk driving which the federal government seeks to curb as it has been blamed as a major cause of fatal accidents on the road.
The issue was triggered by recent drunk driving accidents including one on June 1 where a motorcyclist was killed by an allegedly drunk driver.
Dr Sim who is also Batu Kawah assemblyman condemned drunk driving but asserted it is a complicated issue which needs a comprehensive review of laws and enforcement.
Without referring to anyone or any agency, he said any attempt to tackle drunk driving with a simple solution would be naive and did not take into account the experiences of many western countries.
“Drunk driving resulting in death is totally unacceptable.
“It must have comprehensive review of laws, regulations, enforcement, breath testing, and public campaign in all aspects on drink driving.
“We can learn a lot from highly successful campaigns like in Australia, a country where all the citizens drink socially.
“Anyone suggesting simple actions or short cuts is naive and has not learnt from the policy and implementation failure of so many western countries,” said Dr Sim who is also Sarawak United Peoples’ Party (SUPP) president. — DayakDaily