An ethnographic mapping of alcohol accessibility in different ethnic communities residing in urban and semi-urban areas within Klang Valley, Malaysia
Singh, Sangeeta Kaur
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Singh, S.K., Reidpath, D. and Allotey, P. (2018) ‘An ethnographic mapping of alcohol accessibility in different ethnic communities residing in urban and semi-urban areas within Klang Valley, Malaysia’, in Proceedings of the 3rd UUM International Qualitative Research Conference (QRC) 2018. Malaysia: Universiti Utara Malaysia, pp. 48–64.
Low priority is accorded to public policy in dealing with alcoholism in Malaysia. This study will explore accessibility, knowledge and general attitudes towards alcohol within three ethnic groups in Malaysia. Ethnography field assessment and application of questionnaire on drunkenness was administered by 207 youths who frequented the mapped urban/semi agglomerations areas within six selected sites in Klang Valley was conducted. Results indicate that the Chinese populated area has the highest density of alcohol outlets (0.9- 10.9/100m radius). Most (33%) of the stores operated over 24 hours while others closed at 10 p.m. Beer (94%) and liquor (58%) were more commonly sold. In addition, youth (21%) believed that it is acceptable to consume alcohol at home, while 26% said that it is acceptable to consume at dance/nightclub or a family residence. It is also found that 64% of the youths agreed that Malaysians should be concerned with alcohol-associated problems. 49% of the youths believe that there is insufficient enforcement on alcohol misuse. This study suggests that due to prohibition concerns, alcohol-related communication channels are usually associated with abstinence. Acknowledgement that alcohol consumption is an existing problem in the country is cardinal; based on this effective policies and interventions, could be devised and implemented with the full support of the community.