Govt plans to launch alcohol law consultation in 2H

2019-06-14 08:00     Comment:2

Health Bureau (SSM) Director Lei Chin Ion said yesterday that the bureau planned to launch a public consultation on the possible enactment of an alcohol law in the second half of this year with the aim of banning the sale of alcoholic beverages to youngsters.

The bureau held a local short film première of “Continuity” at Cinema Alegria. It was attended by about 200 government officials, film directors, actors and audience members.

Lei told reporters after the première that the bureau was preparing a public consultation on a possible alcohol law, such as designing a questionnaire, adding that it planned to launch the consultation in the second half of this year and collect public opinion in various ways.

Lei underlined that many regions have their own alcohol laws while Macau was “a bit late” in enacting one so he believed the public would support legislation on the issue.

The bureau would draft a bill after the public consultation process is completed, according to Lei, adding that the draft law was slated to be submitted to the Legislative Assembly (AL) for debate and vote early next year.

18 or 21?
According to Lei, the proposed legislation aims to ban the sale of alcoholic beverages to young people but “how to set up the legal
drinking age? 18 or 21? We need citizens’ opinions”.

Lei noted that the bureau has already analysed young people’s alcohol consumption, adding that it would actively collect the views and suggestions of youths, parents and educators on the possible promulgation of such a law.

Responding to media questions about the possibility of raising alcohol taxes, Lei said it depended on public opinion and some new
regulations related to alcohol would be included in the coming consultation document, for example, advertising for alcoholic beverages.

Dengue fever
Meanwhile, Disease Control and Prevention Centre Director Lam Chong told the media after the première that the dengue fever situation in Southeast Asia is extremely serious, adding that Zhuhai has already recorded its first local dengue fever case of the year and also reported 14 cases of imported dengue fever.

Lam predicted that the dengue fever situation this year would be worse than last year, and local dengue fever cases might appear.

The government will take anti-mosquito measures, such as spraying mosquito larvicidal, conducting regular inspections and
eradicating of mosquito breeding spots, according to Lam.

Lam suggested that residents adopt a range of mosquito control and prevention measures as well, such as by getting rid of places where mosquitoes can breed, removing stagnant water and preventing mosquitoes from breeding.

According to SSM’s statement, the short film “Continuity” has been produced by local film director Leong Tak Sam, and it depicts
the story of a group of medical staff working in an operating theatre.

The bureau wished to demonstrate the professionalism and authentic working environment of local medical staff through the film, with the aim of encouraging more young people to enter the health care services, the statement points out.

Health Bureau (SSM) Director Lei Chin Ion talks to reporters after yesterday’s short film première of “Continuity” at Cinema Alegria. Photo: Rachel Lei


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