Putrajaya has agreed to revoke the licence requirement for eateries to sell alcohol from next year, which caused an uproar.

Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong confirmed that he was informed of this decision by Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz recently.

"He (Tengku Zafrul) confirmed that the finance ministry had indeed cancelled the directive and (he) promised to instruct the Customs Department to abide by this decision," Free Malaysia Today (FMT) quoted Wee, who is also MCA president, as saying.

It was earlier reported that coffee shops and restaurants must apply for a liquor licence costing between RM840 and RM1,320 a year, to continue selling alcoholic beverages in the premises from Jan 1 next year.

The sudden move courted backlash, with critics saying it infringes on the rights and freedom of non-Muslims, and would increase the financial burden on eatery operators who are already suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last April, the Customs Department had requested business owners to apply for liquor licences before Dec 31 this year, and in the middle of November, restaurant and coffee shop operators in several states were called for a briefing by the department.

Following backlash, the Finance Ministry issued an official letter to the Customs Department on Nov 23 to cancel the directive.

Source: FMT, The Star
Photo source: Focus Malaysia