'Light touch' in initial phase

The police will take a measured response in the initial period of new alcohol restrictions coming into effect.

For now, their roles will be more educational and advisory, as they try to get the message across to members of the public about the ban on drinking in public after 10.30pm.

Superintendent Koh Tee Meng, assistant director of operations management division, told reporters on Wednesday: "In this initial phase, police will take a light-touch approach and advise the public who are found drinking in public places during the restricted hours. So, it is more of an advisory and educational approach."

But those who repeatedly violate the regulations can expect to face the full brunt of the law, he added.

In Geylang, MP for Marine Parade GRC Fatimah Lateef addressed the concerns of shopkeepers worried about the law's impact on business.


Under the Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) Act, Geylang has been designated a Liquor Control Zone, which means that special regulations apply, such as shops not being able to sell takeaway alcohol from 7pm on weekends and on the eve of a public holiday and the holiday itself.

"You have to look at the big picture, it's about looking at the needs of all the stakeholders in the area," she said, adding that Geylang is made up of residential, commercial and entertainment units.

"There are ways and means to improve your business in other ways, instead of just serving alcohol. So we probably have to think out of the box a little bit," she added.

An association representing some 63 businesses along the Singapore River said it is still early to decide whether they need to adjust business operations.

Said Singapore River One executive director Michelle Koh: "For now, it's still too early to see how it (the Liquor Control Act) will affect businesses... Everyone wants to see how it'll pan out. We're taking a wait-and-see attitude."

She added that the new law will affect convenience stalls the most, but none of their members are convenience stall owners.