Ban on drinking of alcohol in public a must

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Lately I noticed liquor and wine shops been allowed to sprout up in all nook and corners of the country, especially in populated cities like KL, Georgetown, JB and Ipoh.

It is disturbing to also note that the local authorities have been so liberal in issuing licenses for the sales of hard liquor and other alcoholic drinks in mini markets and sundry stores too.

The easy availability of these intoxicating drinks to the public especially to our youths has far reaching social and health implications.

We are already witnessing all sorts of social and health problems emerging from those who have been addicted to drugs.

The open and liberal sales of liquor and alcoholic beverages are encouraging many youths to indulge in binge drinking, rowdiness and to behave violently in the public after been intoxicated.

The licensing of liquor and wine stalls without any consideration for public sentiments and social norms ought to be reviewed by the authorities.

The sudden emergence of these liquor stalls all over the country is a cause for concern. It is now common to see people especially youths consuming liquor and alcoholic beverages in open places without any consideration for the public.

Studies indicate many of the violent and brutal crimes committed in society happened to be among those high on drugs and alcohol.

The authorities should consider the recent suggestion by the former Selangor State Exco member Xavier Jayakumar ( Malay Mail 3rd July) to ban the consumption of alcoholic drinks in public places like parks and other open spaces.

We need to enact specific bylaws for this proposal. The police and the respective city or local councils should be empowered to enforce the law. Offenders should be fined if they ignore warnings.

Those who go overboard to a point of threatening public safety and vandalising public property in parks, beaches and other open spaces after drinks should be arrested and charged in court.

This proposal to ban public drinking of alcohol may sound harsh and may appear to infringe in one's freedom but it is a necessity to curb the problems associated with public drinking.

It should be noted many countries in Europe, USA, Canada and Australia have legislated similar alcohol drinking ban in public.

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