No need to sensationalise alcohol sale decision

Beers in 7-Eleven Malaysia. Photo: Jeremy Eades, Wikipedia

KUCHING: All quarters are urged not to sensationalise the recent ruling on alcoholic drinks during the movement control order (MCO).

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said the National Security Council (NSC) allowed the sales of alcohol in grocery stores such as 7 Eleven if they had the licence.

“Only factories and shops are completely not allowed to sell alcohol. KPDNHEP supports the decisions set by the NSC and will ensure that the standard operating procedures (SOPs) are complied with by all parties involved.

“I appeal to all parties not to sensationalise this issue and work together with the ministry, the government and all Malaysians to fight Covid-19,” he said in a Facebook post on Friday (June 5).

Nanta said he took note of the confusion in the sales of alcohol at supermarkets, convenience stores and specialty stores, which were hotly debated at the moment.

“I would like to apologise to all parties and media partners who tried to contact and obtain comments from me on this issue. I am on sick leave following eye surgery performed today.

“However, I have instructed the deputy minister and also the highest official of the ministry to always provide a clear explanation to the community on any issues related to KPDNHEP,” he said.

On Friday, KPDNHEP deputy minister Datuk Rosol Wahid was reported by online news portal The Vibes that the sale of alcoholic drinks at any premises was prohibited.

 “This is because liquor is categorised as a non-essential item by the National Security Council (NSC),” he was quoted saying.

However, he reportedly said that cigarettes could be sold during this total lockdown period to cater to those with smoking addiction.

“Although they are non-essential under the SOPs from the NSC, they are still ‘essential’ to cigarette addicts.

“We can’t stop their sales, otherwise there will be problems. Only smokers will understand. Without cigarettes, it will be a huge burden for them,” he said.