Govt told to explain why lobbyists allowed to influence anti-smoking bill

KUALA LUMPUR: An MCA leader says the government should not have been influenced by tobacco companies and e-cigarette lobbyists on the anti-smoking bill, which included the generational endgame (GEG) provision.

"The government needs to explain why it permits tobacco industry lobbyists to influence government policies," said MCA Youth secretary-general Saw Yee Fung.

"While it is understandable for businesses to advocate for and safeguard their interests, the government's responsibility is to safeguard the health of the populace."

Earlier this week, Deputy Health Minister Datuk Lukanisman Awang Sauni revealed that pressure and lobbying had influenced a "decision" on the anti-smoking bill.

He said there were conflicting views on the components of the GEG, which was ultimately removed from the anti-smoking.


Saw said Lukanisman's revelation highlighted the flaw in the government's decision-making process.

"If today the government allows the tobacco industry to influence public health laws, will other industries similarly dictate government decisions in the future?"

She said a previous Health Ministry study revealed that if the number of smokers in the country remained unchanged by 2025, the government would need to spend RM7.4 billion to treat smoking-related illnesses.

Saw said the government should reconsider its decision to promote healthier living.

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories