KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 16 – The Health Ministry will enforce the smoking ban at eateries nationwide next January, despite opposition from coffee shops who claimed reduced business from the ban.
With less than four months to go before the implementation in January, Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad said that his ministry is working with the Ministry of Housing and Local Government and other agencies in terms of enforcement of the ban.
“We are considering public feedback to look into the sentences and enforcement of the ban,” Dzulkefly told a press conference in Penang yesterday.
“We will further strengthen the enforcement to impose penalties on offenders who violate smoking restrictions.
“We are also looking at how other countries do best to implement these sanctions.”
An Indian-Muslim restaurants’ group reportedly said last July that their members’ business dropped by 30 per cent since smoking was banned at eateries since last January. The Malaysia Singapore Coffee Shop Proprietors’ General Association also called for designated smoking zones.
The ban on smoking in public spaces was imposed on January 1, 2019, with fines of up to RM10,000 or two years’ jail on patrons, as well as a fine of not more than RM5,000 or one year’s imprisonment on owners of premises who fail to implement the rule.
The implementation and enforcement of the smoking ban have been delayed until the end of the year.