10 liquor outlets, out of 18 outlets, in Little India were caught selling alcohol during restricted hours in Little India during the enforcement operation which took place between 5 and 27 January.
The police said on Monday (28 January) that three of those outlets were repeat offenders, and some had allowed customers to consume alcohol within their premises during restricted hours.
Investigations into the errant outlets are ongoing.
According to the police, advisory stickers were also issued to liquor outlets in Little India to remind owners and members of the public that the sale of liquor is prohibited during restricted hours and that actions will be taken against the operators for flouting the rules and regulations under the Liquor Control Act,” police added.
The Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) Act, which came into force in 2015, is a statute of the Parliament of Singapore that regulates the supply and consumption of liquor at public places, and to make consequential and related amendments to certain other written laws. The law is designed specifically to deter recurrences of the 2013 Little India riot that took place with mobs under the influence of alcohol.
The Act prohibits the sale of liquor at retail outlets and consumption of liquor in public places between 10.30 pm and 7 am daily and there are also stricter rules for Geylang and Little India, which are designated Liquor Control Zones, where retailers cannot sell alcohol from 7 pm on Saturday to 7 am on Monday.
Delivery of liquor must also be made in accordance with the trading hours specified in the liquor licence. Offences committed within the liquor control zones (LCZs) will result in a penalty of one and a half times that in non-designated areas.
Violators that are caught drinking may be fined up to S$1,000, while repeat offenders may be fined up to S$2,000 including three months of imprisonment. Retailers that sell alcohol during the curfew hours may be fined up to S$10,000.
Some netizens went to mainstream media comment section, criticising the law that was put in place after the Little India Riot.
Peter See wrote, “One riot in singapore whole Singapore cannot drink after 10.30 pm. Another Police scholars decision?”
Ronnie Ronnie wrote, “One incident, handled badly by the authorities, followed by usual overreaction, banning of alcohol with little regard for small businesses.
Coupled with rising business cost, how are these shops to survive without flouting the rules?
The authorities should look into helping them find a solution instead of just fining them.”
Ken Han wrote, “Personally not a fan of this knee-jerk reaction from the government in 2013. After nearly 6yrs, I curious if there is enough data to show reduction of alcohol fuelled crimes to justify the disruption to the small businesses and the reduction in the quality of Singaporean lives. The data needs to be properly analysed to demonstrate that this restriction has not simply shifted alcohol fuelled crimes to earlier in the night. Or even worse, the time restriction has modified comsumer behaviours, resulting in higher rate of alcohol fuelled crimes.”