Malaysia hopes to pass anti-tobacco law next Parliament session

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said he hopes the bill that seeks to ban smoking and vaping to those born after 2007 will receive the support of lawmakers when it is tabled at the next Parliament session in October.

The bill – dubbed a ‘generational endgame’ – was referred to a parliamentary select committee in August for further scrutiny amid criticism that some of its features would infringe on personal freedom.

The proposals related to manufacturing, distribution and storage have been amended, Mr Khairy said in a group interview on Friday.

“Those powers are restricted only to enforcement for distribution, manufacturing, and supply, and not related to smoking offences,” he said.

“We have clarified that in the latest amendment. So, if you contravene the law, they cannot frisk you or take away your phone. We have a meeting next week with the committee and I hope to get it through.”

Malaysian lawmakers last month delayed a vote on the bill and referred it to a select committee to examine and make recommendations for improvement.

The bill also bans those born after 2007 from buying, possessing or using tobacco and other related products even after they reach 18.

Shopkeepers and distributors will be prohibited from selling such products to anyone in the age group under the proposal. BLOOMBERG