Alcohol control law: Hawker centres face same rules as coffee shops

Two Workers' Party MPs yesterday asked for greater clarity on alcohol rules for hawker centres, and asked that they be subjected to less stringent licensing requirements.

Mr Pritam Singh (Aljunied GRC) said it was unclear if patrons at hawker centres would be allowed to drink beyond 10.30pm.

This is allowed at coffee shops, typically up to midnight, but varies based on each coffee shop's liquor licensing conditions.

Likewise, Ms Sylvia Lim (Aljunied GRC) said it was not clear if stallholders at hawker centres are considered retailers that sell alcohol for consumption elsewhere.

In reply, Second Home Affairs Minister S. Iswaran said drink stalls at hawker centres are subjected to the same licensing rules as coffee shops, and that alcohol sold by hawker stalls must be consumed within the hawker centre.

"They are given a beer licence or a beer house licence, and the requirement is that the consumption takes place on the premises, meaning within the hawker centre," he said.

"What that means in practice is if they, shops in a hawker centre, are to sell a can of beer, they are required to pop the can so that there is a point made about consumption on premises."

He added that, like coffee shops, a hawker centre drink stall's operating hours depend on its location, and varies depending on whether it is a residential or commercial area.

Patrons can drink there within the stipulated licensing hours.

This article was first published on January 31, 2015.
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