PAPISMA is appalled at the recent shocking turn of events where the Generational End Game (GEG) provisions were excluded from the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023. The current Minister of Health, Dr Zaliha Mustafa attempted to rationalize this unpopular Madani Government’s decision by citing the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) opinion that these provisions were “unconstitutional,” a stance that PAPISMA finds utterly ridiculous. This is given the fact that senior representatives from the AGC were also in attendance in meetings to discuss the GEG over the past two years. Legal assurance for the GEG is also available in the Parliament’s Hansard for all to see.

It is therefore not surprising that the former Minister of Health Khairy Jamaluddin insisted that this decision resulted from active lobbying by the tobacco industry, implicating various levels of government machinery, including the AGC. This move starkly contradicted the majority of Malaysians who overwhelmingly supported the GEG. An online poll, endorsed by the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA), revealed over 97% of respondents in favor of GEG, with strong backing from the youth (95% among those aged 24 and below) and even smokers and vapers (89%).

PAPISMA deemed this action the worst public health setback in Malaysia’s history and especially disappointing due to the fact that the Ministry of Health is helmed by a doctor, who should be at the forefront to regulate e-cigarettes or vape devices.

Dr. Zaliha, in response, hinted at a possible revisiting of the GEG post-assessment without committing to a specific timeline, further fueling uncertainty.

Calling this a sad day for Malaysia, PAPISMA urges citizens to voice their dissent against the bill in Parliament through social media and communication with their respective MPs. PAPISMA emphasizes the critical need to include GEG and control on e-cigarettes and vape devices to safeguard the nation’s youth from the hazards of tobacco, asserting that Malaysia must not succumb to the influence of the tobacco industry.

Dato’ Dr Suhaini Kadiman,
President of Pertubuhan Amal Perubatan Ibnu Sina Malaysia (PAPISMA)

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