KUALA LUMPUR — Nov. 14. 2018: Despite the protest voiced by three associations recently, the government has decided that it will not compromise with the smoking ban in all food and beverage outlets from January as this concerns public interest.
“Well, while I fully understand where they are coming from but it’s clear that our stand places the public as our priority and we are not ready to compromise.
“Smokers will have to find other places so that they can smoke as much as they want as it is none of our business. Our business is to ensure that public eateries are safe, especially for children, the elderly and (pregnant) women as it will affect those around the smokers with passive smoking,” said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Dzulkefly Ahmad to reporters at the Parliament lobby today.
On Monday, three associations representing more than 20,000 eatery owners expressed their dissatisfaction with the move by the ministry to enforce the ban effective January 1.
On another matter, Dzulkefly said the ministry was willing to consider the use of ketum leaves as an alternative method for medical purposes, including treating drug addiction, to replace methadone but it would require research and should not be implemented in a hurry. — Bernama