Storm in a coffee shop

By now, many in Malaysia would have heard that the Malaysian Customs is about to make it mandatory for coffee shops to have a liquor license. This has triggered quite a tragic reaction – the same Malaysians accusing the former prime minister of dodging taxes have also come out to say let the beer-serving coffee shops alone and let them sell alcohol without a license.

For those not familiar with this notion, a coffee shop is usually like a mini-hawker centre – it consists of a shop lot with multiple hawkers as tenants providing food, while the main tenant provides the drinks. In this case, the alcohol.

And for some reason, these coffee shops have been exempted from licensing till today. Talk about your loopholes in business.

Look, I am fine with eateries deciding whether or not to file for a halal certificate. But to avoid licensing to sell alcohol is downright irregular – the only way to defend it is to be labeled as a special treatment for Chinese business owners and nobody else.

You won’t find a Malay coffee shop owner serving beer, thus not needing an alcohol license. The Indian restaurants would probably have a bring your own bottle policy if ever they had one.

Thus, it is only a freebie benefiting one side – and yet, preferential treatment by race is only a Malay issue, apparently.

There is no logical or rational way to defend allowing coffee shop owners to be exempt from licensing.

The last thing you need is for someone getting involved in a drunk driving incident be traced back to a coffee shop and then triggering a nationwide issue of how politicians allowed an unlicensed liquor selling business to thrive and injure, maim or even kill someone.

Politicians should really stop trying to defend something that is indefensible, and their sheeple should really stop making dumb arguments in support of unlicensed alcohol sales.

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