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Hard to enforce pasar malam smoking ban -- Dr Lee

Last Update: 01/11/2019

IPOH, Nov 1  – The Health Ministry is willing to study a suggestion to demarcate the pasar malam (night market) as a smoking-free zone but it could be tricky to enforce, said Deputy Health Minister, Dr Lee Boon Chye.

“This is due to the area not having legal boundaries like a food premise, public building or higher learning institution which has clear boundaries.

“As an example, if we try to enforce the law at a pasar malam, they can dispute that it isn’t the pasar malam, it’s their front yard, so there is difficulty in carrying it out,” he told reporters after officiating the 31st Annual Scientific Congress of Malaysian Oncological Society 2019 today.

There has been a smoking ban in place at food premises nationwide since Jan 1 this year, with strict enforcement to begin from Jan 1 next year, therefore anyone caught contravening Regulation 11 of the Control of Tobacco Products Regulations 2004 can be fined up to RM10,000 or imprisoned a maximum of two years.

On a different topic, Dr Lee said Malaysia requires more oncologists to provide sufficient care to cancer patients as at the moment there are 42 specialists in public and university hospitals, and 73 serving in private hospitals.

“We need more than 200 oncology specialists so we are definitely encouraging more doctors to specialise by joining a master’s programme at a local university or taking it up as a subspecialisation,” he said.



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