Limit alcohol sale hours at neighbourhood coffee shops

I refer to this week’s VoicesTODAY topic (“Should we ban drinking in public?”) and support the Government’s intention to curb drinking in public places. The proposed curbs should have been implemented a long time ago.

Many of us may have observed beer and liquor bottles left behind at void decks and parks, for example. When we have breakfast at a coffee shop, we may see some people having their morning beer or stout.

In my neighbourhood, especially on Friday or Saturday nights, we can see young people binge drinking in the park until the morning.

At our neighbourhood coffee shops, there is heavy advertising of the cheap beer available, with young girls promoting and serving the beer. Some coffee shops even organise mini “getai” with a lucky draw and games to draw people to drink more. I have come across residents sleeping at the void decks and public places, thrown out by their families for their drinking habits. When they run out of money, they drink cheap samsu (distilled spirits).

The following should be implemented to curb drinking and alcoholism among our young:

First, alcohol sale should stop by 10pm in neighbourhood coffee shops. For entertainment outlets at Clarke Quay, sale should stop by 2am, with no outdoor drinking allowed after that time.

Second, alcohol advertising in neighbourhood coffee shops should be banned. It should be self-service for beer drinkers, so beer service by scantily-dressed ladies should be ended, as should lucky draws and mini getai.

Third, alcohol and cigarette taxes should be raised; many drinkers smoke when they drink.

Fourth, there should be no alcohol consumption in the parks, streets and void decks.

Lastly, enforcement is needed to make this a success.

LIM HOCK CHYE

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