Selangor state govt to have the final say on permit to store alcohol (31.5.15)

SHAH ALAM: The Selangor state government will have the final say on whether a warehouse’s application for a permit to store alcohol in the capital city would be given the green light.

Following the Shah Alam City Council’s word that it would not support this application last week, the matter would be discussed at the next state executive councillors’ meeting.

Local Government, Legalising of Illegal Factories and New Village Development committee chairman Ean Yong Hian Wah said the state government would decide at the weekly meeting this Wednesday.

Ean Yong dismissed Shah Alam mayor Datuk Ahmad Zaharin Mohd Saad’s statement last week that the Petaling district land and mines office (PTG) would determine the application’s approval following the council’s non-support.

“The state government will come to a decision as it has the power to do so,” he told the New Straits Times yesterday.

The state exco also disagreed with Ahmad who justified the council’s non-support by saying that there were already 110 warehouses storing alcohol in Shah Alam and that number is enough.

In the recent council monthly full board meeting, Ahmad said he was leaving the approval for the warehouse’s liquor permit to the district office, saying that it was common procedure for the office to give it a stamp of approval.

A separate license for the warehouse had earlier been given by the council, he said, adding that if the district office would not allow the alcoholic goods to be kept in Shah Alam, it can be kept in neighbouring Petaling Jaya or Klang.

The council, he said, had been asked to give its view on the matter.

Ean Yong had in the past said the council would be summoned to present its case at the exco meeting.

It was reported that the council had twice rejected a warehouse’s permit application to store alcohol due to religious sensitivities. This was because councilors could not agree with the alcohol permit application and had put it to a ballot two weeks apart twice, in which more than half of them voted not to issue the permit.

The state, added Ean Yong, took the matter seriously although it involves just one warehouse and as it was important not to set a bad precedent in this case as any decision made regarding the permit will affect the state government’s policy.

The rejection of the application, added Ean Yong, would give an impression to the public that the Selangor government is not open and not pro-business.

“We have to be pro-business, we cannot cancel the application due to racial or religious reasons,” he was quoted as saying.

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