The bill was tabled for second reading yesterday and MPs continued to debate the bill, which they say contains glaring problems. — Photo by Sayuti Zainudin
By Yiswaree Palansamy
Tuesday, August 2, 2022 5:14 PM MYT
KUALA LUMPUR, 2nd August – Kuala Langat MP Datuk, Dr Xavier Jayakumar today questioned whether the provisions of the Tobacco Products and Smoking Control Bill 2022 would later be extended to cover also alcohol consumption and gambling activities, which raises concerns about the issue of police freedoms. non-Muslims in the country.
Dr Xavier pointed out several issues with the bill, including personal freedom, and expressed concern that the law will not suit the Orang Asli and other indigenous communities in rural areas here and in Sabah and Sarawak.
He then questioned the protection of freedom for non-Muslims to buy alcohol and gamble.
“So President, I am in doubt. No one should be prosecuted under this law. Because we are not making cigarettes illegal in the country. We only make it illegal for a certain generation only. The other generations will be able to smoke at will.
“The individual freedom of a person in the country is at stake. Today you say it’s cigarettes. Tomorrow, what is the assurance that it will not be for alcohol and gambling? Members should understand that in Malaysia 70% are Bumiputera-Muslims. We enforce this law now. What is the state of my freedom as a non-Bumiputera, but as a Malaysian? he asked.
Dr Xavier said that in his area there are 13 Orang Asli villages and if he told them not to smoke or drink there would be problems.
“I’m a doctor. I don’t smoke. I’m also not a member of a cigar club. I have no problem with my friends who smoke. It’s their choice. They have the freedom to do whatever they want. “they want. But at the same time, when we introduce a bill in Parliament, we have to make sure that we can carry it out forever. Forty years is a long time, Mr. Speaker. I won’t be here after 40 years to see if it’s a success.
“It’s an ongoing experiment. I want to mention it here because no country has. The Scandinavian countries themselves did not start this,” he added.
Dr Xavier also expressed hope that the bill will be referred to a parliamentary select committee before being passed.
The bill was tabled for second reading yesterday and MPs continued to debate the bill, which they say contains glaring problems.