In most parts of the world, May 31 was marketed as world no tobacco day, but in Medan, North Sumatra, a number of activists supporting the Indonesian Kretek Community (KKI) staged a rally expressing their support for the nation’s tobacco industry.
Medan KKI co-ordinator, Chaidir Harahap, was reported as having said that world no tobacco day was part of a ploy by foreign countries to destroy the tobacco industry.
But, he said, white-stick and kretek cigarettes were some of the biggest assets Indonesia had. “In 2012, cigarette duties earned for state coffers amounted to Rp68 trillion [US$6.88 billion],” Chaidir was said to have told The Jakarta Post.
He said foreign parties were trying to control tobacco use nationally by promoting health concerns linked to smoking.
He pointed out also that two major national cigarette companies, Sampoerna and Bentoel, had been taken over by foreign companies, and he said that thousands of small-scale cigarette producers had gone bankrupt.
“Don’t let our country become bankrupt just because our natural resources, including tobacco, which have been the nation’s biggest assets, are being dominated by foreign parties,” said Chaidir.
Category: Breaking News