New liquor control measures next year: Iswaran

New liquor control measures next year: Iswaran

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is working towards introducing a new law on liquor control in Parliament early next year, said Second Minister for Home Affairs and Second Minister for Trade & Industry S Iswaran.

Measures under consideration include restricting public consumption of liquor and the hours for retail sales of liquor.

Mr Iswaran was responding to MP Alex Yam, who asked what are the Government's considerations in working out proposed alcohol restrictions in public areas.

Mr Iswaran said MHA will consider public and industry feedback, and take into account the experience from the alcohol restrictions imposed in Little India following the riot in December last year.

"We have also been studying the practices in foreign jurisdictions. In states like South Australia and Texas, for example, the consumption of alcohol in public places is not allowed at times when problems associated with alcohol consumption are more significant.

"In deciding on the measures to adopt in Singapore, we will balance the diverse interests of various stakeholders including residents and businesses. We will also need to ensure that the regime is practical and enforceable, easily understood with clear rules, and minimal displacement effect," said Mr Iswaran.

In late 2012, MHA embarked on a review of liquor control measures to address law and order concerns and disamenities posed by people congregating and consuming significant quantities of liquor in public places, particularly at night.

This was in response to a range of feedback from residents and businesses about these concerns, especially in areas where residential and commercial premises are located close to each other.

As part of the review, MHA conducted a series of public consultations between Oct 2013 and Aug 2014. The respondents generally supported having some restrictions to mitigate law and order issues and disamenities.

MHA will be releasing the findings of the consultations within this week.

klim@sph.com.sg

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