KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 19 — Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa has reportedly given her assurance the delayed new anti-smoking law would be tabled in the current Parliament session before its conclusion on November 30.
Dubbed the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill, Dr Zaliha said this in response to claims by her predecessor Khairy Jamaluddin that several Cabinet members had blocked the legislation.
“The bill will be tabled before the end of this [Parliamentary] session. We will get it done,” she told Malaysiakini.
On Thursday, Khairy claimed two Cabinet members and “the gaffer” of blocking the aforementioned tabling of the Bill.
He named the ministers as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said and Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.
As for “gaffer”, the informal British slang alludes to a person in charge of others; or a boss.
The generational end game (GEG) tobacco and vape control bill would increase fines for suppliers, lower fines for buyers or consumers in the GEG group, and include a two-year “educational enforcement” on the GEG first after the Act comes into effect.
The 2023 version of the bill incorporates amendments suggested by the Parliamentary Special Select Committee (PSSC) last year, including a reduction in the maximum fine for GEG offenders from RM5,000 to RM500, and introduces a provision for community service to educate and raise awareness.
Parliament did not debate or pass the Bill at the second reading in June since the Bill was immediately referred to the Health PSSC after the first reading when it was tabled in the Dewan Rakyat.