Freezing liquor licences doesn’t solve root of problem: Tiong

Dato Sri Tiong King Sing

KUCHING, June 4: Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa should rethink the call to halt issuing new liquor licenses at this stage of the drunk driving discussion.

According to Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing, any decision or change should depend on rational discussion based on detailed consideration and the appropriate actions should then be taken to avoid making rash decisions that have no bearing on improving the overall drunk driving situation.

He said that as a result of Annuar’s comment, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) made a knee jerk decision to freeze new applications for liquor licenses, which may cause more unnecessary dissatisfaction, particularly to the business community.

“Furthermore, the real key to solving the problem of drunk driving still lies in national education and more severe penalties to deter the act of drunk driving,” he said in a statement today.

At the same time, Tiong who is also Bintulu MP,  urged for a more calm approach by focusing on correcting the root of the problem.

He explained that just as other developed nations brought real lasting solutions and countermeasures to the problem, so too should the country’s politicians refrain from pandering to prevailing emotional reactions and letting them devolve into a racial issue which ignored the rights of non-Muslims in the country.

“I am concerned that Annuar, with very few non-Muslims in his constituency, is fully comfortable to speak as he wishes on this topic without fearing nor caring for the rights of non-Muslims.

“I urge for all federal ministers to exercise more care and sensitivity for other races when expressing their views by carefully considering the situation holistically. We all must consider the feelings of all ethnic groups in order to maintain lasting national harmony and social order,” he added.

Tiong, who is Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to People’s Republic of China, pointed that in term of alcohol control measures, municipal councils, local government and other relevant units should discuss more effective solutions with other authorities including the Ministry of Transport.

He also suggested that Malaysia should look for an effective solution from a bigger country with a large population such as China, and adopt their effective solutions against drunk driving.

“What methods can we learn from others’ experiences? After all, it is by examining our own shortcomings and weaknesses that we can ensure our continued progress.

“I also call on Annuar to understand the reason that DBKL had repeatedly delayed the approval of liquor licenses. It is known that many businesses have applied to renew their liquor licenses up to 18 months.

“But there is an unacceptable and unreasonable lack of response to these applications. If a country wishes to prosper and progress, it can no longer act regressively. We hope the decisions by authority figures will also be temperate and consider the opinions of non-Muslims. Otherwise, the unhappiness against the current government will only grow and lead to other political issues,” he said.—DayakDaily.