DBKL Lifts Liquor Sale Ban In Sundry, Convenience & Chinese Medicine Stores

The newly appointed committee members at the city hall will also review policies established by the previous committee.

Cover image via Sin Chew Daily & Hari Anggara/Malay Mail via Yahoo! News

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The newly appointed committee members of the Excise Licensing Board under the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) have reportedly lifted the ban on liquor sales at sundry, convenience, and Chinese medicine shops

In an interview with Sin Chew Daily, DBKL Excise Licensing Board vice chairperson Pooi Weng Keong said a total of 1,519 applications for liquor licences have been approved.

The new committee members were appointed in mid-October, and Pooi said the last board meeting was held in September 2022.

"The board has not met for more than a year," he said.

When the new committee held their first meeting on 23 November, they were tasked to review and renew liquor licences for business establishments in Kuala Lumpur.

DBKL Excise Licensing Board vice chairperson Pooi Weng Keong.

Image via Sin Chew Daily

Under the guidelines implemented on 1 November 2021, DBKL had banned sundry, convenience, and Chinese medicine stores in Kuala Lumpur from selling liquor

The ban stirred dissatisfaction among many non-Muslims in the capital city, as it was seen as a violation of their rights as consumers.

"Although it was an issue back in 2021, the new committee does not see such regulations from the legal perspective," assured Pooi.

"Kuala Lumpur is the capital of a country and aspires to become an international metropolis. It is also the most important tourist attraction for travellers from all over the world.

"Coupled with our country's multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and multi-life customs, we should not adopt overly strict regulations to control alcohol or prohibit the sale of alcohol in non-halal eating establishments," he added.

He said foreign tourists are welcome to visit Malaysia and should not shun Kuala Lumpur just because of the liquor ban.

Liquor sold at a Chinese medicine store.

Image via Sin Chew Daily

Pooi noted that the board has 513 new liquor license applications to process, and approval will take some time

"Committee members of the Excise Licensing Board will be handling fresh applications and renewals in an open, proactive, and positive approach.

"By proactive, we mean we try our best not to delay in approving the applications. We will complete the review and approval of new applications, and also review policies set by the previous committee that need to be changed," Sin Chew Daily quoted Pooi as saying.

The committee will meet again on 20 December to review the applications.

The enforcement of the liquor ban in Kuala Lumpur was delayed by a month before it came into effect on 1 November 2022:

A year earlier, the government attempted to introduce a licence requirement for the sale of beer at kopitiams:

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