KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 16 — Former health minister Khairy Jamaluddin should stop accusing current ministers of deliberately delaying the proposed Generational Endgame (GEG) Bill to curb the habit without proof, Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said today.
Instead, the federal tourism, arts and culture minister said Khairy should prove that cancer cases in Malaysia are a direct consequence of smoking.
“If this unprepared matter is hastily implemented and eventually results in various weaknesses and criticisms, leading to massive public complaints, who should be blamed?” Tiong asked in a Facebook post this morning.
The Bintulu MP also asked Khairy to prove his contributions to Malaysia’s public healthcare system when he was its minister instead of pointing fingers at others for its flaws.
Tiong was reported by The Star to be among the Cabinet members named by Khairy on Instagram yesterday as blocking the controversial Bill that aimed to criminalise smoking for those born in 2007 onwards. The other minister named was Datuk Seri Azalina Othman, in charge of law and institutional reform.
To Tiong, Khairy’s actions now smacked of someone attempting to boost his own personal image and popularity.
“If there are none, he should not point fingers at any ministers, including me over the failure of the Bill,” he said.
Tiong said the GEG Bill in its current form contained ill-prepared measures that he deemed as “unconstitutional” and “unenforceable”.
He indicated that countries that had passed a similar Bill have found it hard to enforce the law on its population, citing New Zealand as an example.
He also said that Khairy has consistently failed to show concrete evidence supporting his statements regarding the susceptibility of Malaysia’s lowest income group to diseases attributed to smoking, like cancer.
“KJ, you are the most failed health minister. You have consistently failed to prove that cancer is caused by smoking habits, and have failed to take steps in establishing research centres or related institutions to analyse and investigate detailed data on cancer patients in our country.
“Therefore, the proposed Bill that you suggest lacks a strong foundation to be defended. More importantly, it is not appropriate for you to blame other ministers merely to vent your disappointment,” Tiong said.