Licensed premises containing essential items may sell alcohol during lockdown, Home Trade Ministry says



PETALING JAYA: Alcohol is allowed to be sold in premises such as convenience stores with licenses to sell alcohol and is allowed to operate during the lockdown, Datuk Rosol Wahid said.

The Deputy Minister of Home Trade and Consumer Affairs said the ban by the National Security Council only affects alcohol manufacturing and locals that exclusively sell alcohol.

“The NSC has ruled that the sale of alcohol in outlets that are licensed to sell alcohol is allowed.

“The NSC’s standard operating procedures (SOPs) do not allow alcohol manufacturing plants and premises that only sell alcohol to operate during the current movement control order that began on June 1.

“This NSC SOP also indirectly includes an operating ban on premises that exclusively sell alcohol such as liquor stores and pubs.

“However, supermarkets, mini-markets and convenience stores that are licensed to sell alcohol are allowed to sell it to non-Muslim customers.

“This is because these supermarkets, mini markets and convenience stores are allowed to operate during MCO 3.0, as they also sell various other basic necessities that are classified as essential,” Rosol said in a statement on Friday 4. June.

He also clarified that his earlier statement that cigarettes are allowed to be sold in all of these stores, although they are not considered essentials, was due to the fact that cigarettes are usually found in all stores, even in various stores.

“I would like to stress that only essential services are allowed to operate in accordance with the SOP decided by the NSC,” said Rosol.

Earlier on Friday, there was confusion over whether there was a ban on the sale of alcohol in all premises, as images of closed alcohol sections in stores went viral on social media.

This was further fueled by a police raid on a Brickfields store, with police claiming it violated the business license as it only sold alcohol and not food and drink as stated.

Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa, when contacted, also said that there was no ban on the sale of alcohol in federal territories, especially Kuala Lumpur, during the lockdown, but that there was a ban on serving alcohol.

“There is no such ban by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) unless the locals selling them have not been licensed for such activities in the first place.

“Restaurants may be open, but since no dining is allowed, there should be no serving of alcohol. Pubs and karaoke bars are closed, so the issue of alcohol service does not arise.

“As for supermarkets, they are allowed to open and can therefore sell alcohol if they are allowed to sell it. It’s very clear, ”Annuar said when contacted.

Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBK) also issued a statement saying there was no ban on the sale of alcohol in premises such as supermarkets and convenience stores under its authority.

Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin said her ministry was only responsible for issuing business licenses to outlets that sell alcohol.

Normally, she said licenses to sell alcohol on these premises are issued by district offices.

“These district offices are under the authority of state governments. We only give licenses for the premises, ”Zuraida said, when contacted.



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