No Bintangs? Bali could be hit by national booze ban
DREAMING of a Bintang on the beach as part of your Bali getaway? It might be time to wake up.
The Indonesian province notorious for its appeal to Australian party-goers could soon be affected by new laws that would ban the making, selling and drinking of alcohol.
The blanket ban would cover the entire country.
Already the proposed bill is angering more than just the tourists who want to enjoy a cocktail by the sea, as labour unions, and business groups also warn of its potential impact.
The bizarre law is being pushed by the country's Islamist-aligned political parties.
The goal of the bill is to "protect citizens from the negative impacts of alcoholic beverages", although the bill suggests some exemptions for tourists, religious rituals and pharmaceutical products.
A decision to stem the sale of alcohol in the country would also appear in conflict with the Muslim nation's plans to increase tourist numbers to 20 million by 2020, double the number of travellers who visited in 2015.
In April last year, the company banned small retailers from selling beers, removing it from the shelves of 16,000 minimarts and 55,000 other small shops.
Hotels, restaurants and bars were not affected.
The laws were also amended somewhat so vendors could keep selling beers to tourists on the beach.
The threat of an alcohol ban could pose new problems for Indonesia, with health advocates warning prohibition would drive drinkers to black market spirits.
In 2013, a West Australian teenager died in a Perth hospital from methanol poisoning, as a result of drinking "locally brewed liquor" near Bali on New Year's Day.