KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 — Selangor DAP deputy chairman Ean Yong Hian Wah today urged the Health Ministry to review the nationwide smoking ban at restaurants due to confusion over the ruling.
The Seri Kembangan assemblyman said the Health Ministry should release a clearer statement on the ban before the six-month grace period ends in June.
“It has been over three months since the no-smoking ban in food premises was implemented, but we are still receiving grouses from the ground.
“While I am fully in support of the policy, there are [a] few issues that the government needs to address it diligently,” Ean Yong said in a statement.
Ean Yong said the public was still unclear about the three-metre radius from restaurants within which smoking is prohibited.
“There are a lot of confusions [sic] regarding areas where smoking is allowed,” he said.
The Selangor representative also said that the Health Ministry should come up with a list of areas where smoking is allowed.
“One of the suggestions that the Ministry should explore is allowing a designated smoking corner or room for food establishments,” he said.
Since January 1, smoking in restaurants, including those in the open air, has been banned.
However, the Health Ministry is giving a six-month grace period to restaurant operators and their patrons and will only start issuing fines and compounds from July 1.
Anyone found guilty of smoking in prohibited areas may be fined up to RM10,000 or jailed up to two years under Regulation 11 of the Control of Tobacco Product Regulations 2004.