Malaysia’s tobacco control bill sent to parliamentary committee for review

The Control of Tobacco Product and Smoking Bill has been referred to a parliamentary special select committee (PSSC) for further review after its first presentation in the Dewan Rakyat. Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa stated that the decision was made due to several recommendations from engagement sessions held with government and non-governmental stakeholders that required additional consideration.

Dr Zaliha explained, “The Health Ministry has gotten the approval by the Cabinet to table the Bill for its first reading. On your tables, you will find the blue Bill which proves the government’s commitment. However, taking into account the engagement session conducted with the Health PSSC on June 6, and also with MPs, professionals and non-governmental organisations, we found that there were a few matters which were requested for review and finetuning.”

She further emphasised the importance of the Bill and the need for full support from all parties. The Health Ministry has suggested that the Bill be referred to the PSSC for further scrutiny, as the committee functions as a check-and-balance system that takes into account views from all parties.

Dr Zaliha assured that the Health Ministry is committed to seeing the Bill through and ensuring its approval in the nearest time frame. After tabling the Bill, she referred it to the PSSC for further review.

The Control of Tobacco Product and Smoking Bill, which includes the Generational End Game (GEG) policy, was initially tabled in August last year by Dr Zaliha’s predecessor, Khairy Jamaluddin. At that time, the Bill was also referred to the PSSC for review. However, its retabling was delayed due to the dissolution of Parliament on October 10 and the subsequent 15th general election.

The current Dewan Rakyat session is scheduled to last for 11 days, from May 22 to 25 and from June 6 to 15.

World News

Lee Shuyi

Lee is an expat writer living in Thailand. She specialises in Southeast Asian news for the Thaiger. When she's not writing, Lee enjoys immersing herself in Thai culture and learning Thai.

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