‘Review policy of bringing in alcohol’

, National 2 minutes, 17 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Brunei-Muara District representative of the State Legislative Council (LegCo) has called for a review of the policy on bringing in alcoholic drinks to Brunei for non-Muslim residents, as there has been a visible increase of improperly disposed cans and bottles in public places.

During yesterday's afternoon session of the LegCo meeting, Hj Bakar Mansor asked what initiatives and efforts were in place to eradicate the problem of the litter.

"The used cans of alcoholic beverages are often seen by the roadsides, in recreational parks, and also at the beachsides. This shows that the number of alcoholic drinks brought (into the country) is increasing," he said.Energy Minister Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Dewa Major General (Rtd) Dato Seri Pahlawan Hj Mohammad Hj Daud said that it was difficult to determine whether such used cans were left behind by youths, particularly Muslim youths.

"As the council member is aware of, non-Muslims are allowed to bring in a limited alcoholic beverages and the monitoring of alcoholic beverages is a matter which may be difficult to address, especially if they drink by the roadside and dispose the used cans or bottles by the side of the road," the minister said.

"This can only be addressed with civic education to residents of this country so that they will not dispose rubbish improperly," said Pehin Dato Hj Mohammad.

As the policy of importing drinks into Brunei was under the jurisdiction of the Royal Customs and Excise Department, Ministry of Finance, Second Minister of Finance Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Hj Abdul Rahman Hj Ibrahim said the situation is constantly monitored by the department.

Pehin Dato Hj Abd Rahman recalled that a law was introduced two years ago, whereby non-Muslims were only allowed to bring in the specified amount of alcohol into the country once every 48 hours.

Meanwhile, LegCo member Dato Paduka Hj Mohd Yunos Mohd Noh said drug abuse cases have increased over the years.

He said: "Although the Narcotics Control Bureau has been catching drug users and evidence, many of them have been prosecuted and sentenced for their crimes, but, there are some among them that have gotten away, although there is (prominent) evidence."

He also questioned the number of Bruneians who were prosecuted and sentenced on foreign shores. "Looking at the sentence they are facing, and the fact that they are Muslims, I propose that they be extradited back to this country to carry out the same sentence, so they will be able to (protect) their faith."

Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Pehin Orang Kaya Pekerma Dewa Dato Seri Setia Lim Jock Seng said the matter will be looked into.

The Brunei Times