With two days to full ban, Kuching council looks for smokers’ corner

Kuching South City Mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng (left) said he has asked his officers to identify sites for the creation of no-smoking zones, December 30, 2019. — Picture by Sulok Tawie
Kuching South City Mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng (left) said he has asked his officers to identify sites for the creation of no-smoking zones, December 30, 2019. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, Dec 30 — The Kuching South City Council (MBKS) is scouting for possible spots where smokers can enjoy a puff, ahead of the Health Ministry’s total enforcement of smoking ban at all food establishments nationwide.

Mayor Datuk Wee Hong Seng said officers are looking for suitable spots away from places with many eateries to convert into smoking zones.

“We must have a place for smokers to enjoy themselves and away from the non-smokers,” he told reporters before the MBKS Christmas gathering here today.

“We also have to respect the rights of the smokers. What we are trying to do now is to look into the possibility of creating smoking zones outside the eateries in busy areas.

“Because we ask people to stop their habit inside the eateries, we must also have places for them to smoke outside the eateries,” he added.

He said the creation of the smoking zones were made to be fair to non-smokers and also accommodate smokers who wish to light up in public.

“The council has to step in,” he said.

The federal Health Ministry introduced a ban on smoking at all restaurants and stalls earlier this year but suspended its total enforcement to get the public used to the idea.

Effective January 1, 2020, those who violate the ban face punishment of a RM250 fine for their first offence that could snowball to RM10,000 if left unpaid and taken to court.

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