KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 – A Selangor state assemblyman urged the Health Ministry today to allow designated rooms in restaurants for smokers amid a nationwide smoking ban at all dining establishments.
Seri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah, who is also Selangor DAP deputy chairman, said the public was still confused about the no-smoking zone within three metres from restaurants.
“It is over three months since this policy implemented, but we are still receiving grouses from the ground,” Ean Yong said in a statement.
“One of the suggestions that the ministry should explore is allowing a designated smoking corner or room for food establishments.
“I urge both the health minister and deputy health minister to review the policy before June and release a clear statement on the ban,” he added.
Ean Yong urged the Health Ministry to list areas where smoking was allowed due to confusion about such places, as smoking is currently prohibited in public parks and most buildings.
Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said last January that designated smoking areas would be provided in future, but did not elaborate on a specific timeline.
The Health Ministry imposed a smoking ban on all restaurants, including open-air outlets, since January 1 this year, but allowed a six-month grace period where offenders would not yet face fines or jail.
Those convicted of smoking in prohibited areas face fines of up to RM10,000 or maximum two years’ imprisonment.