“Liquor sale ban in convenience stores is Malayan politics, not Sarawak’s”

From left: Minos, Petrus, Yii and Lo.

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By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, Nov 8: Banning liquor sales in convenience and grocery stores, and Chinese drugstores has been described as Malayan politics, not Sarawak’s.

Padawan Municipal Council chairman Lo Khere Chiang said he saw no ground or reason to ban the sale of liquor in convenience or neighbourhood stores.

“Why should we do it? We are all practical people in Sarawak. We are a multiracial and multicultural society. There is no practical ground for us to do that. I don’t see the reasons for doing that.

“Drinking is even a culture for some of us. And we use liquor or wine for cooking. This in not our politics. It is the politics of West Malaysia.

“In Sarawak here, we don’t need this kind of nonsense. Our council will not entertaining such an idea,” Lo told DayakDaily.

Kota Samarahan Municipal Council (MPKS) chairman Dato Peter Minos, Miri City Council (MCC) chairman Adam Yii and Sibu Rural District Council (SRDC) chairman Sempurai Petrus Ngelai when contacted, all said such a rule will not be adopted in their jurisdictions.

“We follow the position taken by MBKS (Kuching South City Council) and SMC (Sibu Municipal Council) not to ban liquor sales in convenience stores etc.

“To us in Sarawak in particular, we do not have any problem with the sale of liquor as long as they have a licence under the local authority.

“We shouldn’t cloud ourselves with the current issues. So far we here in Sarawak are living in harmony and respect each other’s freedom,” said Petrus in a reply via WhatsApp.

For Minos, he said MPKS will “do it Sarawak’s way” while Yii stressed that there was no such plan at all for MCC.

MBKS mayor Wee Hong Seng in a Facebook live session on Saturday (Nov 6) said the council will not follow Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL)’s decision to ban the sale of liquor in grocery and convenience stores, and Chinese medical halls or drugstores since Nov 1, 2021.

He said there would be no changes to its current rules and regulations whereby liquor permits are not applicable to Chinese drugstores and he gave his assurance that grocery and convenience stores which already have liquor licenses will not have any issue in extending their permits once they have expired as well.

SMC chairman Clarence Ting who was a guest on Wee’s livestream, also agreed with Wee’s stand concerning the ban on medicinal liquor in Chinese drugstores. — DayakDaily