Stop stalling anti-smoking bill - MMA
SHAH ALAM - Stop stalling the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023, says the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA).
Its president Dr Azizan Abdul Aziz said the latest move by the government to conduct a survey to gather public opinion on the Generational End Game (GEG) via the MySejahtera app was another means to delay the second reading of the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023.
“All the hard work of engaging with key stakeholders has been done by the Parliamentary Special Select Committee (PSSC) chaired by Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.
“Why the need for a survey at the eleventh hour when the government had months to do one? Moreover, many Malaysians no longer use or have deleted the MySejahtera app,” she said in a statement.
She added that the association was not convinced that the GEG would continue based on its move to delist nicotine gels and liquids from the Poisons Act early this year, postponements and now this latest move to conduct a survey when the bill should have already been tabled for a second reading.
“We are not convinced that the government is genuinely committed to advancing the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023 despite the assurance given by the Health Minister.
“Sufficient stakeholder engagements have been held. All it needs is the political will,” she said.
Besides, Dr Azizan said Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad who is the Chairman of the PSSC, earned praise during his tenure as Health Minister for his bold move to introduce a smoking ban at eateries.
“Although it was an unpopular decision among certain quarters at the time, it was the right thing to do in the best interest of public health. This is the kind of commitment that we need now.
“To genuinely prioritise public health, the Health Ministry must demonstrate unwavering commitment in combating the perils of smoking and vaping,” she said.
She added that the government must take decisive action to ensure the swift passage of the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023 in this parliamentary session, as they had pledged.
“No compromises, no delays as our health demands nothing less,” she said.