KUALA LUMPUR: Perikatan Nasional will support the government’s tobacco control bill if it is tabled in the Dewan Rakyat, says PAS information chief Ahmad Fadhli Shaari.
Fadhli questioned if the government was serious about the bill, which had been delayed since it was originally tabled last year, and urged the government to table it as quickly as possible.
“To what extent is the government serious about the bill? If they table it, the opposition will support it,” said Fadhli, who is MP for Pasir Mas, during a debate in the Dewan Rakyat today. “This goes beyond partisan political interests,” he said.
The bill, which contains provisions to ban smoking among those born after 2007, had been due to be tabled for a second reading on Oct 10. The government later said the bill was being reconsidered because of objections that the bill was unconstitutional.
Health minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa said yesterday that the bill would be tabled before the current Dewan Rakyat meeting ends on Nov 30.
However, she did not say whether the bill would contain a provision to ban smoking and the sale of cigarettes and vape products to those born after 2007.
This provision, known as the generational endgame, was described by the attorney-general, Ahmad Terrirudin Salleh, as being unconstitutional for offending the right to equal protection under the law.
The tobacco control bill was introduced in July last year by then health minister Khairy Jamaluddin but met resistance from several MPs. A revised bill was presented in June and subsequently referred to a parliamentary committee.
Zaliha later said the bill would be tabled for a second reading on Oct 10 after receiving the green light from the Cabinet to proceed with the proposed law. However, she then said her ministry had launched a survey to gather public feedback on the bill via the MySejahtera app.