Beer stall co-owner says he got letter on alcohol licence 4 months late; SingPost investigating the matter

Mr Daniel Goh said that the letter regarding the alcohol licence for his Chinatown Complex beer stall was dated Sept 6, 2018, but he received it only on Thursday.
Mr Daniel Goh said that the letter regarding the alcohol licence for his Chinatown Complex beer stall was dated Sept 6, 2018, but he received it only on Thursday.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/DANIEL GOH

SINGAPORE - A letter from the police on renewing an alcohol licence appears to have taken four months after its stated date to reach the co-owner of a beer stall.

On Sunday (Feb 3), SingPost said it was working with the co-owner, Mr Daniel Goh, to investigate the matter and offer its assistance on the case. The postal service provider had earlier said it would like to help and resolve the matter with the authorities.

Mr Goh, said in Facebook post on Friday (Feb 1) that the letter regarding the alcohol licence for his Chinatown Complex beer stall was dated Sept 6, 2018. But he received it only on Thursday. The SingPost date stamp on the envelope was marked on Wednesday.

"We needed to have paid for (the licence) before Dec 4, 2018 - it's Feb 1, 2019 today," Mr Goh said.

"This essentially means we have been selling alcohol illegally for the past month without even knowing. We could be shut down any time if the police come checking."

His post also said that he had tried to contact the police through their hotline "to clear things up", but was unable to get through.

In an e-mail to The Straits Times on Saturday, Mr Goh said that he would be calling the police again on Monday (Feb 4) as the hotline does not operate on weekends.

"We will not be operating the stall from this evening until the matter is resolved and the licence renewed," he wrote.

The affected stall at Chinatown Complex used to be called The Good Beer Company. Mr Goh's other stall there, Smith Street Taps, remains unaffected.

He also has a minority stake in another stall, The Good Beer Company at Global Kitchens located in Science Park Drive. This stall is also unaffected.

Responding to comments on Facebook, he said that "it's my fault for not keeping track of my own licensing". Still, he added that it cannot be excused that a letter reached its intended recipient months later.


It was unclear if the letter was processed late by SingPost, or sent out late by the police. Mr Goh raised both scenarios in his Facebook post.

He told ST that he has heard from neither the police nor SingPost. While SingPost asked him to contact it, the postal service provider did not respond to a message on its Facebook account, he said.

"I have sounded out a few friends in the legal profession to see what needs to be done. I'm unable to say more until we ascertain more facts regarding the matter," he added.

When contacted, a SingPost spokesman told ST that going by Mr Goh's Facebook post, his letter was received and processed on Jan 30, 2019, before it was delivered to him the next day. The postmark indicates the date when a letter is processed at SingPost's mail processing centre.

"As ordinary mail is not tracked, we are unable to trace the movement of the letter, from its posting to its arrival at our mail processing centre on Jan 30, 2019," said the spokesman.

He added that SingPost would like to provide assistance to resolve the matter with the authorities, and thanked Mr Goh for his feedback.

Mail bags that arrive at SingPost's mail processing centre at Paya Lebar are verified against the daily record of bags collected, and they are also checked to make sure they are not compromised, said SingPost.

Each bag arrives sealed and tagged after being collected from the over 800 post boxes and post offices islandwide.

The mail bags are then processed on the day itself, and sweeps of the operational area are conducted daily to ensure all mail received are processed accordingly.

Mr Goh said in his e-mail: "To be fair to SingPost, it is not an established fact that it was its error that led to such a delay. But I have had missing parcels and issues with postmen over the past couple of years, like many other Singaporeans."

The Straits Times has contacted the police for more details.