Anti-smoking Bill good in principle but future enforcement is a concern, says Anwar

·1-min read
Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 1 — Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said that although he and other Opposition MPs supported the Control of Tobacco Product and Smoking Bill 2022 in principle, they were concerned over future enforcement of the Act.

In a letter to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob shared on Anwar’s Facebook page, he recommended the referral of the Bill to a parliamentary select committee, which could then examine and focus on the constitutional issues, as well as those related to enforcement and carrying out control over tobacco products and smoking.

“Membership of the parliamentary select committee should comprise a number of Dewan Rakyat members representing all parties and led by the minister of health,” he said.

Anwar also suggested that the committee should prepare a statement containing proposed Bills related to the control of tobacco and smoking products or related matters within a period of one month, which can be prolonged if needed.

Within the same Facebook post, he also shared a similar letter addressed to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin tabled what has been widely dubbed as the anti-smoking Bill in Parliament on July 27. It had its second reading today.

The Control of Tobacco Product and Smoking Bill 2022 proposes to ban smoking, buying or owning cigarettes and tobacco products for those born in 2007 onwards. The ban is slated to come into effect in 2025.

Discussions about the potential power abuses allowed by the Bill has been fiercely debated by Malaysians.

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