Restriction on liquor
advertisements at all food outlets is unreasonable and should be
Press Conference Statement
by Ronnie Liu Tian khiew
DAP Selangor strongly objects to the
decision made by the Selangor state government that food outlets are given 3
months to remove all signboards with liqour advertisement.
On 23 Dec 2002, Selangor Mentri
Besar, Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo announced unilaterally that food outlets
in the state will not be allowed to put up liquor advertisements on their
signboards without prior approval from the local authorities. The state
government later postponed its action and instead set up a committee to
study the matter after immense protest from the coffeeshop owners, hawkers
and the DAP. The recent decision made by the state government is totally
unacceptable for many reasons.
There is no good reason why
such condition for liquor advertisements should
be imposed on food outlets
except for those that sell liquor as their core business which are permitted
to use such advertisements on their signboards. By right, all food outlets
that sell food and liquor should be allowed to advertise liquor as has been
the practice all along without being made to go through the hassle of
seeking approval since liquor is also one of the items sold.
The business of all food
outlets were already down by more than 40% because of SARS. Such a move is
bound to affect the business of food outlets generally and their liquor
sales particularly, including that of liquor manufacturers, apart from
arousing feelings of unhappiness and discontent among them. Besides it would
also hamper the government's effort to attract foreign tourists into the
country since many foreigners enjoy beer and liquor.
In a pluralistic society like
ours, the right to put up liquor advertisements should be upheld. Khir Toyo
should not attempt to curtail such advertisements which are mainly found in
non-Muslim eateries by subjecting the latter to the dictates of the Islamic
religion especially as other states do not have such a policy. The Perak
State government, for instance, had given assurance to food outlet
operators that it would not clamp down on beer advertisements.
Selangor DAP therefore urges
the Mentri Besar to review the condition and to
revoke the notices which have
been issued to owners of food outlets instructing them to remove liquor
advertisements so as not to impose unnecessary burden on them.
* Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew,
DAP Selangor Secretary