KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — Independent candidate Kuan Chee Heng pledged today to provide a space for smokers to light up at restaurants in Semenyih following a federal ban.
The Star reported Kuan, a non-smoker, as saying that smokers had rights too.
“Coffee shops are half dead. There is no business. The Chinese like to patronise coffee shops in the afternoon and have a chat.
“At my age, I want to see my friends. They drink coffee while smoking, and drinking beers while smoking,” the 56-year-old was quoted saying during campaigning in the Semenyih by-election.
Kuan, known as “Uncle Kentang” in the Selangor state constituency, reportedly said he supported the federal government’s ban on smoking at all dining establishments, but stressed that the economy must be taken into consideration.
“Before cigarettes die, business will die first. So who will suffer? We support the smoking ban. But please give some leeway,” he was quoted saying.
The Ministry of Health banned smoking at all restaurants, including open-air outlets, since January 1, allowing smokers to only light up from a distance of three metres or more.