Parliament: Little India needs stricter alcohol curbs, says Denise Phua

A sign saying “no alcohol” adorns a lamppost lining the streets and back alleys Race Course Road and Kerbau Road. Ms Denise Phua (Moulmein-Kallang GRC), who looks after a part of Little India, made an impassioned speech on the need to have strict
A sign saying “no alcohol” adorns a lamppost lining the streets and back alleys Race Course Road and Kerbau Road. Ms Denise Phua (Moulmein-Kallang GRC), who looks after a part of Little India, made an impassioned speech on the need to have stricter alcohol rules in her area. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - Ms Denise Phua (Moulmein-Kallang GRC), who looks after a part of Little India, made an impassioned speech on the need to have stricter alcohol rules in her area.

She told Parliament how she has long called for the Government to help "return the use of community spaces such as the void decks and playgrounds in housing estates back to the residents Let the tenant mix of shops directly below housing units be of a more wholesome profile - the unrestricted sale of liquor in bottles stacked from floor to ceiling does not belong to residential zones."

She said that the curbs on public drinking and sale of alcohol that were implemented in the wake of the 2013 riot were "most welcomed by many residents. One interesting indicator was we began to see more children, especially little girls, at the playgrounds now."

Supporting the Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) Bill, she also urged a moderate approach since "the spirit of the legislation is not to target the occasional social drinkers in areas unlikely to attract large congregations.

"The purpose of this Bill is to target socially ill behaviours that might cause public disorder, nuisance and even risks to others especially residents. I urge the Ministry to assure the public that it will apply a light touch in these situations, such as by issuing warnings, and only take punitive measures when there is public nuisance."

limyihan@sph.com.sg