The National – Tuesday, February 8, 2011
THE member for Moresby Northeast Andrew Mald has called on the national government and the National Capital District Commission to critically look into the liquor business after the rise in alcohol-related deaths in the city.
A concerned Mald said after learning of the shooting to death of Akuila Emil, a former Kumul player from New Ireland, who was alleged to have been killed by a highly- educated national outside a hotel after his (Emil’s) car bumped into the alleged killer’s vehicle.
Mald said such alcohol-related incident was not the first of its kind as many incidences and similar killings in the city in recent times had been alcohol-related.
He said tougher laws were needed to control alcohol trading and consumption to control the escalating deaths and crimes that were directly related to the abuse of alcohol.
He said trading hours at night clubs should be regulated and also all liquor trading in settlement and residential areas should be shut down and tougher penalties should be imposed on offenders.
He said all night clubs should sell liquor until midnight and any extension should result in the licences be terminated while all beer outlets in settlements and residential areas should be banned.
He added that all drivers caught under the influence of alcohol must have the licences immediately suspended.
He said tough measures were necessary because many prominent and well-educated people who were the agents of the nation’s development were dying or killed as a result of prolonged drinking and drunken behaviour in the society.
“Residents in Port Moresby were using and consuming alcohol as if it is just fun and in many of these situations the drinkers do not exercise moderation.
“They drink like there is no tomorrow,” he said.
Mald said business was good for those that traded alcohol but the cost to the country was far greater.
He added that besides loss of life, the cost to the economy, the cost of medical treatment, police investigation, and compensation demands and payments were excessive and serious.
“The NCDC must take advice seriously. As a commissioner, I will push for greater control and I also ask the government to also take immediate steps,” he said.
Mald has raised the concern on on the floor of parliament on several occasions but all that had fallen on deaf ears.