22 April 2018
Clarke Quay’s liquor operating hours were shortened in 2013 from 6am to 3am, and to 4am on Saturdays.
For most clubs, the peak hours are around 1.30am when the young at heart start heading for their watering holes. A 3am closing time means sales have to stop by 2.30am, giving clubs only an hour or so to maximise takings.
As a result, Shanghai Dolly has seen sales drop by 30 per cent since the restriction.
From the authorities’ point of view, they have to be concerned about the risks to law and order in an area like Clarke Quay with many drinking outlets and thousands of customers in high spirit every night. The police have a responsibility to keep the peace.
The question is how to do it without overly hindering business and civic life.
The long arm of the law and its all-seeing eyes can become overbearing even as Singapore prides itself as one of the safest places in the world, and most Singaporeans agree that it is a precious thing to be able to walk the streets at 3am safely.
Indeed, the police have done an outstanding job keeping the city safe.
But how to strike the right balance?
… Han Fook Kwang is a Senior Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University
RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 23/04/2018