To freeze or unfreeze? That is the question. What am I even talking about? So apparently hoteliers, restaurants, bars, wholesalers, importers and other merchant groups called on the DBKL to lift its liquor licence suspension.
Today, it was announced that DBKL alcohol licensing authority will meet next month to develop new guidelines for alcohol licensing.
So, what’s the problem here? Well on the one hand, the premises selling alcoholic beverages are struggling to generate income and sustain their livelihoods but on the other hand, the government (and the rakyat in general) want to lessen the number of road accidents due to drunk drivers.
Both have good points. I, for one understand how difficult business has been for many establishments because of the pandemic. For months, people were not allowed to go out and buy things whenever and wherever they wanted, so a lot of businesses have been struggling to get back on track.
When the economy reopened, these establishments have also had to abide to the SOPs which of course limits the usual number of customers each establishment is allowed to have at any given time and to make things even harder, Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) froze the granting of new liquor licence applications.
This suspension could lead to people losing their jobs. Again.
The decision was made because Federal Territories Minister Annuar Musa wants to renew the guidelines and laws on liquor sales following a number of news reports on fatalities related to drunk driving. Understandable because there has been many cases of people dying because of drunk drivers lately.
So who should we root for? To be quite honest, I’m not sure myself. It would seem that as neutrals, we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. I understand that businesses are heavily affected, so suspending the licence till its reviewed next month will not make this easier. Plus, the process of actually renewing ones alcohol licence is troubling enough.
But I also understand DBKL is concerned for people’s safety because the current rules and guidelines are not as clear. In a way, I don’t think they’re telling DBKL to not review and improve the guidelines, it’s just that their licence shouldn’t be suspended or frozen while waiting for the new rules.
Of course, at the end of the day no one is necessarily in the wrong here. Hopefully, there’s a middle ground that can be found here because no one likes seeing businesses suffer. What are your thoughts on this matter? Let us know in the comments!