Cigarettes not banned because of Malay MPs smoking in Parliament? Group asks

States that have imposed the ban on the sale of vape products from January 1 are Kelantan, Penang, Kedah, Johor and Terengganu. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
States that have imposed the ban on the sale of vape products from January 1 are Kelantan, Penang, Kedah, Johor and Terengganu. ― Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

PETALING JAYA, Jan 8 — Frustrated with the ban on vaping in several states, a business group has challenged the authorities to similarly prohibit cigarettes.

Pertubuhan Ikatan Usahawan Kecil dan Sederhana Malaysia (Ikhlas) president Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah noted that a fatwa was issued against cigarettes in 1995 and urged state governments to display fairness in their decision to ban electronic cigarettes.

“Why are they not banning cigarettes? Why the double standard decision?

“Is it because you see Malay leaders and MPs smoking in Parliament so you don’t want to ban cigarettes? Please be fair with your decisions and not act unprofessionally,” he told a news conference here.

Mohd Ridzuan also urged vape traders nationwide, except Johor, to carry on with their businesses, saying that Ikhlas would back them should there be any raids from the authorities.

“Don’t worry about raids. Ikhlas will bring the matter to court,” he added.

He assured traders that Ikhlas was honest in its fight to ensure that the plight of young Malay entrepreneurs was taken care of.

“I was once bankrupt too. I know the pain of not being able to eat for two days and I don’t want our young aspiring Malay traders to face a similar predicament,” Mohd Ridzuan said.

States that have imposed the ban on the sale of vape products from January 1 are Kelantan, Penang, Kedah, Johor and Terengganu.

Terengganu and Kelantan, however, announced that they will give traders up to one and six months respectively to wrap up their businesses and to clear their stock before enforcing the ban.

While Malacca has announced the decision to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes and vaping itself,  it has yet to state the effective date of the prohibition.

Negri Sembilan and Pahang, meanwhile, have allowed the sale of vape products but banned Muslims from vaping.

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