Parliament: Police have power to order liquor to be sold in plastic containers or tins instead of bottles

In Tekka market in Little India, beer can be sold only in tin cans - not bottles - during certain hours. -- PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER FILE
In Tekka market in Little India, beer can be sold only in tin cans - not bottles - during certain hours. -- PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER FILE

SINGAPORE - Laws here already allow the Police to make it compulsory for liquor to be sold in plastic containers or tins instead of glass bottles, Second Home Affairs Minister S. Iswaran said in Parliament on Thursday.

He pointed to how at some organised events, alcohol can be sold only if it is in plastic containers, while in Tekka market in Little India, beer can be sold only in tin cans - not bottles - during certain hours.

Answering a question from Mr Zaqy Mohamad (Chua Chu Kang GRC), who suggested that when alcohol is sold in residential areas, it must be in plastic or tin containers, Mr Iswaran said the authorities adopt a balanced approach when issuing liquor licenses.

"We have to just remember that the countervailing consideration is that it does have a bearing on the experience of the patrons and also the business considerations, so we have to find a balance," he said.

"But certainly where the local conditions and situation demand a review in order to impose certain conditions like this, we will certainly look into that and I think the new legislation that has been proposed will enhance the range of labels that are available to the licensing authority."

Mr Iswaran was referring to the Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) Bill that was introduced in Parliament on Jan 19.

If passed, it will outlaw alcohol consumption in public places between 10.30pm and 7am and will also ban the sale of liquor from 10.30pm.

In addition, Geylang and Little India will become Liquor Control Zones, with stricter restrictions on the consumption and sale of alcohol there.

yanliang@sph.com.sg