Balanced approach to liquor licensing, with reviews as needed

Balanced approach to liquor licensing, with reviews as needed

Laws in Singapore already allow the authorities to make it compulsory for liquor to be sold in plastic containers or cans instead of glass bottles, Second Home Affairs Minister S. Iswaran said yesterday .

He pointed out that at some organised events, liquor must be sold in plastic containers, while in Tekka market in Little India, beer can be sold only in cans, following fights in which beer bottles were used.

Mr Iswaran highlighted these requirements to Mr Zaqy Mohamad (Chua Chu Kang GRC), who had suggested making it a must for alcohol sold in residential areas to be in plastic or tin containers.

He said the authorities need to adopt a balanced approach when issuing liquor licences.

"...The countervailing consideration is that it does have a bearing on the experience of the patrons and also business considerations, so we have to find a balance.

"But certainly where the local conditions and situation demand a review in order to impose certain conditions like this, we will certainly look into that and I think the new legislation that has been proposed will enhance the range of labels that are available to the licensing authority."

Mr Iswaran was referring to the Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) Bill which was introduced in Parliament on Jan 19.

If passed, it will outlaw alcohol consumption in public places between 10.30pm and 7am as well as retail sale of liquor after 10.30pm.

Also, parts of Geylang and Little India will be Liquor Control Zones, with tighter restrictions on alcohol sale and consumption.

These include no drinking in public places from 6am on Saturday to 6am on Monday and a ban on retail sale of alcohol from 8pm till 6am on weekends.

This article was first published on Jan 30, 2015.
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