Public drinking ban? It'll spoil our vibrancy

Public drinking ban? It'll spoil our vibrancy
POPULAR: Alfresco dining and drinking by the Singapore River is a favoured activity for many.

Some have questioned if a ban on public drinking could dampen the vibrancy around the Singapore River.

Instead of a dry zone, perhaps stores should not be allowed to sell cheap liquor in the vicinity, they said.

Singapore Nightlife Business Association president Dennis Foo, who is chief executive of nightlife group St James Holdings, said: "Alcohol consumption must be confined to licensed premises... as they are controlled environments where the operators will have to make sure their customers behave."

Mr Ty Tabing, executive director of private initiative Singapore River One, said the Little India alcohol ban measures "don't make sense" for the Singapore River area because restrictions had been introduced there this year.

They include the trimming of liquor licensing hours for bars and nightclubs stretching from River Valley Road to Read Bridge at Clarke Quay.

These measures have already hurt businesses there, said Mr Roy Ng, the coowner of 10-year-old Home Club at The Riverwalk.

"The rules have affected our business by 40 per cent. What really needs to be done is for the authorities to ban the sale of alcohol at 24-hour convenience stores after midnight. That, I think, would solve the problem of binge drinking," he said.

The search for a solution is underway.

In November, the Ministry of Home Affairs teamed up with Reach, the Government's feedback arm, to consult the public on the time limit and designation of no-alcohol zones in public spaces like Robertson Quay.

The consultation period ends on Dec 31.

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