Malaysians cheer court’s decision to dismiss smoking ban challenge

29 October 2019
Blake Chen

PETALING JAYA: Malaysians are happy that the Kuala Lumpur High Court has dismissed a constitutional challenge against the Health Ministry’s total ban on smoking in all food outlets in the form of educational enforcement nationwide on Jan 1 this year.

Earlier on Tuesday (Oct 29), the Health Ministry sang praise of the decision.

“Alhamdulillah! Smoking ban at eateries stands!” Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad tweeted.

Based on comments from The Star’s Facebook page, it would seem many Malaysians echo the Health Ministry’s sentiments on the High Court’s decision.

“Sound decision, I’m proud that my petition of admission was heard before (High Court judge) YA Mariana,” said Facebook user Wilbur Siew.

Facebook user Thomas Tan said: “Well done. This minister is good. He promised to do something and he delivered.”

While many were joyous over the news, some Malaysians said enforcement needed to be emphasised for the ruling to stay true.

“Bravo! But more enforcement is needed,” said Facebook user Tej Fernandez.

“Be strict with the ban. Make sure it is fully enforced,” said Silvia Tan.

Some even took the time to remind smokers to abide by the law.

“Am a smoker but I try to follow the rules. Just follow the rules. It’s not that hard,” said one Encik Hirman.

It was reported earlier Tuesday that the High Court had dismissed a judicial review by seven Malaysians on a smoking ban in food outlets that was enforced in January this year.

Judge Datuk Seri Mariana Yahya ruled that the ban did not breach Articles 5 and 8 of the Federal Constitution.

These articles concern the rights of person and equality before the law.

Mariana said the ban, which required smokers to keep a minimum of 3m from a food outlet’s tables and chairs, did not deny them their freedom of choice.

She said smokers still smoked and could enjoy the outlet’s food and drinks without discrimination.

The non-smoking ban will be fully enforced with a penalty of RM10,000 or a jail sentence of two years for violations beginning Jan 1 next year.

The Star