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A Jaya Grocer staff arranging cans of beer in Ipoh. — Picture by Farhan Najib
A Jaya Grocer staff arranging cans of beer in Ipoh. — Picture by Farhan Najib

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KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 — Stores solely selling liquor may not operate in the “total lockdown” as alcoholic drinks were not an essential item under the prescribed standard operating procedures, a senior police official said.

Commenting on viral posts alleging that police ordered a food and drinks outlet here to close despite it possessing an authorisation letter from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Brickfields police chief ACP Annuar Omar said this was not the case.

“The result of an inspection at the store showed that it purely sold hard liquor, which is not considered an essential item,” he said in a statement.

“The police then took action by advising and directing that the premises be shut. Consequently, the premise owner obeyed and took action as directed.”

Yesterday, posts emerged online to allege that the police ordered a supermarket in Bangsar to close because it sold alcohol.

However, the images accompanying the posts appeared to show the adjoining liquor store.

One photograph showed a makeshift note pasted on a drinks chiller, which said: “Sorry not available to sell beer by government SOP”.

The latest SOPs from the National Security Council only includes stores selling hard liquor in the “negative list” of activities expressly prohibited.

Malay Mail is attempting to clarify with the authorities if the sale of all alcohol including beer is prohibited during the “total lockdown” lasting until June 14.

The confusion could also be based on the government’s decision to initially allow beer factories to continue operating, before reversing this on Tuesday when saying that alcoholic drinks were not considered essential items.


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