Police announced that the weekend curbs on the sale and consumption of alcohol for Little India will be in place starting from Thursday evening and last till Monday morning.
The alcohol curb was originally stated to be on the weekends for shops to be selling alcohol only between 6am to 8pm on Saturday, Sunday and eve of Public Holidays and Public holidays. (Between 6am on the eve of the public holiday to 6 am on the day after the public holiday). As Thaipusam is not a public holiday in Singapore therefore a special inclusion is needed.
The police in its news release proclaimed that Little India will be under POPA (the Public Order (Preservation) Act) during Thaipusam and the following weekend.
As large crowds are expected to gather at Little India where the procession will pass through, the POPA proclamation will be in effect in the Little India area. The POPA proclamation will cover the same area
as previous proclamations since December 2013. The POPA proclamation will commence from 6pm on 16 January to 6am on 20 January 2014. The Hindu Endowments Board (HEB) and the Little India Shopkeepers & Heritage Association (LISHA) were consulted and they support the proclamation and the measures taken to facilitate the smooth conduct of the procession.
As per previous proclamations of POPA in Little India, alcohol consumption in public places within the proclaimed areas will not be allowed during this stipulated period. The Police will strictly enforce the ban against public consumption of alcohol, and we will seize alcohol being consumed within the proclaimed area.
The annual Thaipusam procession will begin on 16 January (Thursday) 11pm through 17 January (Friday) 11.59pm. The procession will begin at Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple at Serangoon Road and end at Sri Thendayuthapani Temple at Tank Road.
TOC has recently dropped down to Little India and asked the shops which sell alcohol. They say business is still down due to the alcohol ban during the weekends and most of their sale comes during the weekends and public holidays. When asked on whether can they cope with their business, a business owner of a small shop along Syed Alwi Road -say he will be reconsidering in a few months time as he is barely making ends meet with the high rental in Little India.
By Terry Xu
Change note – Heading of the article changed from “Ban” to “Curb” as alcohol are still allowed to be sold in shops in the area so long the shops are holding onto licenses for sale and consumption of alcohol.