Public drinking ban? It'll sink my business

Public drinking ban? It'll sink my business

One of the best-sellers in his liquor shop is Knock Out beer from India, but his worry now is whether the new measures on alcohol sales in Little India will knock out his fledgling business.

Mr Sadhasivam Kailasam has not eaten or slept well since the Little India riot two Sundays ago.

All he can think of these days is where he is going to find the $7,000 to cover his shop's overheads for this month.

Things were going well for the 41-year-old owner of Arasi Trading, a liquor store at Chander Road, until the night of Dec 8 when the death of Indian national Sakthivel Kumaravelu in a traffic accident sparked Singapore's first riot in nearly 50 years.

In the aftermath, new rules were introduced - first, a blanket ban on alcohol sales and consumption in Little India last weekend.

On Wednesday, the police announced fresh measures. While the blanket ban has been relaxed, liquor stores like Arasi Trading must stop selling alcohol after 8pm on weekends, public holidays and holiday eves. This could last up to six months.

Mr Sadhasivam told The New Paper on Wednesday: "The workers mostly come from 8 to 10pm. That's when I make most of my money."

He said that Indian foreign workers, his main customers, like going to his shop after dinner to buy beer or Indian whiskey to share among themselves.

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