KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 – The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) today questioned the launch of a public survey on the generational end game (GEG) policy in the midst of the tobacco bill’s legislative process.
The doctors’ group pointed out that the Health parliamentary special select committee (PSSC) – which recently tabled a report in the Dewan Rakyat on its proposed amendments to the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023 – had already engaged key stakeholders.
“The Malaysian Medical Association views the latest move by the government to conduct a survey to gather public opinion on the Generational End Game (GEG) via the MySejahtera app as another means to delay the second reading of the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023,” MMA president Dr Azizan Abdul Aziz said in a statement.
“Why the need for a survey at the eleventh hour when the government had months to do one? Moreover many Malaysians no longer use or have deleted the MySejahtera app.
“From its move to delist nicotine gels and liquids from the Poisons Act early this year, postponements and now this latest move to conduct a survey when the bill should have already been tabled for second reading, we are not convinced that the government is genuinely committed to advancing the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023, despite assurance given by the Health Minister.”
The MOH’s launch of its poll yesterday – which asks respondents whether they support the proposed GEG ban on tobacco and vape products for anyone born from 2007 – came after the government inexplicably delayed the tabling of the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill for second reading in the Dewan Rakyat.
The tabling of the tobacco and vape control bill for second reading was initially scheduled last Tuesday, according to Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa’s prior announcement following an October 4 Cabinet decision on the matter.
She did not explain the unexpected delay in the tabling of the tobacco bill; nor did she clarify if the bill would be tabled in the current Dewan Rakyat meeting that is scheduled until November 30.
“To genuinely prioritise public health, the Health Ministry must demonstrate unwavering commitment in combating the perils of smoking and vaping,” MMA said.
“It is imperative that the government takes decisive action to ensure the swift passage of the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023 in this parliamentary session, as they had pledged. No compromises, no delays — our health demands nothing less.”