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Monday, December 6, 2021

Liquor licences for coffee shops in line with global standards, says govt

 

Starting next year, coffee shops that wish to sell beer will have to apply for a liquor licence. (Reuters pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The finance ministry has defended the enforcement of liquor licences in coffee shops that sell beer as being “in line with global standards”.

Responding to a supplementary question from Nga Kor Ming (PH-Teluk Intan) in the Dewan Rakyat, deputy finance minister Mohd Shahar Abdullah said the move was not unique to Malaysia.

“This is not just a practice in Malaysia, but is also done in other countries, including in our neighbours,” he said. “We are following the World Health Organization (WHO) convention.”

Nga had asked the ministry on the rationale for enforcing businesses to obtain a licence to sell beer and stout at a time when coffee shops were still struggling to recover from the economic impact of the pandemic.

“Starting next month, the customs department wants to implement an old regulation using a new policy on all coffee shops selling beer, where they must apply for a licence. So, how many licences must a new coffee shop apply and pay for?” he asked.

He said that with each licence costing RM1,340, this would mean additional costs being passed down to customers and compounding the existing issue of high prices.

“Why is the government burdening the rakyat with extra bureaucracy?” he asked.

It had been reported earlier that starting next year, coffee shops and restaurants must apply for a liquor licence if they want to continue selling beer in their premises. - FMT

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