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MPs divided on alcohol curbs in Little India

Published on Jan 21, 2014 8:41 AM
There were ''indications'' that alcohol was a factor in the riot, DPM Teo Chee Hean said in response to MPs' questions. Alcohol restrictions were also put in place to stabilise the situation after the riot, he explained. -- ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Members of Parliament were divided over the role of alcohol in the Little India riot and the restrictions put in place since the incident.

There was Nominated MP Janice Koh, who asked why alcohol was deemed an underlying cause, and fellow NMP Nicholas Fang, who asked whether breathalyser tests were carried out on foreign workers involved in the riot.

Then there were those like NMP Eugene Tan, who said that 374 liquor licences in the area - including 43 inactive ones - was excessive. He wanted to know how the liquor licensing board issues them.

Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Teo Chee Hean said licence numbers have been stable in the last five years: Between 2009 and 2012, they ranged from 347 to 357.

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