Singapore: Singapore on Friday said that 47 cases of rioting and 115 incidents of serious hurt linked to liquor consumption was reported in the country last year, prompting the government to restrict the sale and consumption of alcohol in public places.
There were 47 cases of rioting and 115 cases of serious hurt linked to the consumption of liquor in Singapore last year, Second Minister for Home Affairs S Iswaran told Parliament today.
"On an average, there was one rioting incident and two cases of serious (hurt) each week that was liquor-related," TODAY newspaper quoted Iswaran as saying at the second reading of Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) Bill.
Nine out of 10 of these incidents occur after 10.30 pm, he said.
Under the proposed stringent laws, the public will not be able to purchase alcohol for take-away or consume alcohol in public places from 10.30 pm to 7 am daily.
Iswaran said there are widespread calls and compelling reasons for the Ministry of Home Affairs to consider proactive measures to restrict the supply and consumption of liquor in public places.
The minister also noted that the figures do not take into account cases of noise and other disturbances arising from liquor consumption, which are often unreported.
The anti-liquor measures come in the wake of December 2013 riots in the country, seen as Singapore's worst riot in 40 years that involved South Asian migrant workers, most of whom were reportedly drunk and reacted violently to a fatal accident.
Meanwhile, there is a disproportionate number of law and order incidents in Little India and Geylang that are associated with liquor consumption, the minister said.
"The regular and large congregations of people both local and foreign in these areas exacerbate the risk," The Straits Times quoted him telling the House.
"Deemed Liquor Control Zones, these area will have similar restrictions applied in Little India following the riot in December 2013," he stressed.
Drinking is currently banned in public places in Little India from 6 am on Saturday to 6 am on Monday, and from 6 am on the eve of public holidays to 6 am on the day after the holiday.
The retail sale of alcohol is banned from 8 pm till 6 am on weekends, and on the eve of public holidays and public holidays.