SMC after coffee shops operating as bistros


SIBU: Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) has warned coffee shop operators to not operate as bistros, which is tantamount to misusing their licences.

Its Chairman, Clarence Ting told reporters after a full council meeting yesterday (June 27) that it is unacceptable them to say they are unaware of the rules.

“They claim they don’t know. There is no such things as they don’t know. Because you want to be in this business of course you want to abide by the law. This is basic,” he said.

According to Ting, two licenses can be applied for from SMC.

“One is for coffee and tea and another one is for alcohol. So, these are the two licences. Normally when they apply for the coffee and tea licence that means they are to only operate as coffee shops.

“However, if you apply to serve alcohol then you only have an alcohol licence (to operate as bistro),” he said.

He emphasised that those who only apply for a coffee and tea licence should therefore not be selling alcohol.

As for entertainment such as karaoke or band they need another entertainment licence for it.

“So right now, SMC only has one limitation for this entertainment licence and that is if the shophouse commercial area is within 100 meters of a residential area then it cannot be approved,” he said.
Ting noted that some of the coffee shops also operate beyond the time limit stated in their licences.

“For coffee shops, their operating hours are up to midnight on weekdays and on weekends up to 1 am however they open till 2 to 3 am,” he said.

Hence, he stressed that they are working with the police to ensure the problem can be controlled since they had received few complaints from the public.

“This is very important so that we do not disturb the public and that these people (operators) do not violate conditions set on their licence.
“SMC has started to take action but when it comes to confiscation, the power lies with the police,” he said.

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