Only those aged 21 and up can purchase alcoholic beverages


After raising the legal drinking age from 18 to 21 two years ago, the government has finally standardised the legal liquor buying age.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dzulkefly Ahmad said the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages takes effect from today, following amendments done to the Food Regulations 1985 Act.

The amendment to Rule 361 of the Act also requires vendors and alcoholic products to display new warning labels against the effects of alcohol.

“Premises must display notices showing the new purchasing age limit, while also displaying notices reminding users of the dangers of consuming alcohol.

“Similar warning labels advising against the use of alcohol must also be displayed on all alcoholic beverage packaging,” the minister said in Parliament.

Shops will also be required to display alcoholic drinks on separate racks from non-alcoholic drinks.

“These regulations being set are in line with the ministry’s pledge during the 63rd World Health Assembly in 2010, to join in the ‘Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol’,” said Dzulkefly.

He also said beverages classified as Compounded Hard Liquor can now also only be sold in bottles no smaller than 700 millilitres.

Those classified as CHL are drinks such as whisky, rum, vodka, brandy, or any other ethyl alcoholic drinks.

The amendments were gazetted by the ministry under the previous Barisan Nasional administration on May 27 2016, but take effect only from today.

Failure to comply with the new set of regulations could see a convicted party fined a maximum of RM10,000 or sentenced to no longer than two years in prison.


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