Activists in Malaysia have created an organization, Pertubuhan Kesedaran Perokok Malaysia, to create awareness among smokers about their rights under the law and constitution, reports The Star. The group also wants to sensitize smokers to the rights of nonsmokers.
“We have created history, as this is the first time that a registered association exists to represent the voice of the 4.7 million smokers in the country,” said founder Mohd Hanizam Yunus.
Among other activities, the new group will oppose a pending smoking ban in restaurants. It is seeking to meet with Health Minister Dzulkefly Ahmad to give its views on the proposed Tobacco Control Bill, which is expected to be finalized by the year’s end.
The Kuala Lumpur High Court is scheduled to hear a challenge to the restaurant smoking ban on August 22.
Mohd Hanizam was among six individuals who filed for a judicial review of measure. The group claims that the ban goes against the federal constitution, as smoking is not deemed a criminal activity or banned in the country.
The suit contends that the proposal does not provide adequate facilities such as smoking areas, nor includes provisions for business operators to prepare their own nonsmoking areas.
Category: Breaking News