KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20 – Tanjong Karang MP Dr Zulkafperi Hanapi has asked the health minister to explain why the controversial ‘generational end game’ (GEG) provision has been decoupled from the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023.
The Bersatu lawmaker inquired whether the removal of the GEG provision, which aims to ban individuals born after 2007 from vaping and smoking, from the bill was influenced by strong lobbying or a lack of political will.
“I would also like to ask the Health Minister to explain why the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023 has not been continued? Is it because the influence from lobbyists is too strong that the GEG provision had to be cut? Or is it truly because there is no political will from the Madani government itself?
“Will smoking, vaping, including nicotine use, and also LGBTQ practices – or the ‘A&W’ tale that has created a buzz lately, and Liberal International, which have allegedly been denied.
“What is the type of life that we want to normalise in a Madani society? Is this not among the lifestyle choices that can spoil young people, our society and future generations?” the Opposition MP said during the Supply Bill 2024 debate in the Dewan Rakyat today.
Attorney-General Ahmad Terrirudin Mohd Salleh recently confirmed that the AG’s Chambers (AGC) believes the GEG ban is unconstitutional.
The AG was responding to former health minister Khairy Jamaluddin’s accusation of the AGC reversing its stance on the GEG provision. Khairy claimed that the government’s legal advisors had signed off on the tobacco bill when he had brought it to Parliament last year.
CodeBlue broke the story last November 6 that the Cabinet had decided to decouple the GEG from the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill, due to the AG’s advice that the proposed ban on tobacco and vape products for anyone born from 2007 throughout their lifetime is unconstitutional.
Last week, Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh as well as Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Tiong King Sing publicly opposed the bill.
Yeoh is the first Cabinet member to publicly acknowledge that the unity government finds the GEG provision to be unconstitutional. Yeoh, responding to Khairy, held that a law which is unenforceable and unconstitutional will cost the government millions and that her support for the decoupling does not mean that she supports smoking or vaping.
Tiong, like Yeoh, said that the bill was unconstitutional and unenforceable and held that his support for the removal of the provision did not mean that he was in support of smoking. Tiong called for health education, instead of a generational ban.