Najib Isn't Happy About How The Smoking Ban Is Being Implemented. Here's Why

A non-smoker's perspective from the former premier.

Cover image via ABS-CBN

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak penned his dissatisfaction over implementation of the smoking ban in a Facebook post yesterday, 9 January

Clarifying that he is not a smoker, Najib pointed out that the government should respect smokers who are not ready to quit just yet.

"I fully support the efforts of the government to reduce the number of smokers in the country, but a smoking ban that is too draconian is unfair to those who still choose to smoke," the former premier wrote in his Facebook post

"It is also unfair for food and beverage operators, as well as those in tourism," he added.

Najib was referring to an announcement by State Health, Consumer Affairs, National Integration and Human Resource Committee chairman A. Sivanesan yesterday, who said smoking is not allowed on the five-foot way

"If they cannot even smoke on the five-foot way, are you saying they can only smoke in the middle of the road and wait for the bus to ram into them?" Najib wrote. 

The ex-prime minister added that during the Barisan Nasional administration, the smoking ban was implemented at all offices, air-conditioned restaurants, and hotels while providing some leeway for smoking areas to be allotted outside their premises.

"But the Pakatan Harapan government has already removed this leeway," Najib wrote.

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Malay Mail

The former premier also proposed a time restriction on smoking

"If the government's concern is for children being exposed to smoke, maybe it can consider introducing a time restriction on smoking outside premises?" Najib wrote.

"Maybe exemption can be given to smoking in a specified area after 9pm," he added.

However, Najib wrote that the ban should still be observed indoors even if it is not air-conditioned so that non-smokers can enjoy their food and drinks.

You can read Najib's Facebook post in full here:

In other news, a group of smokers recently filed a judicial review to challenge the smoking ban:

Catch up on news regarding the smoking ban: