In a decisive move addressing public concern over delays, Health Minister Dr. Zaliha Mustafa has confirmed that the much-awaited anti-smoking Bill, incorporating the Generational Endgame (GEG), will be presented in the Dewan Rakyat before the conclusion of the current Parliament session on November 30. Dr. Zaliha made this announcement during the Program Madani Afiat dan Jelajah Agenda Nasional Malaysia Sihat at SMK Bukit Gambir. The Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023 includes groundbreaking provisions preventing individuals born on or after January 1, 2007, from smoking or purchasing tobacco products, including vapes.
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Initially scheduled for a second reading on October 10, the Bill faced postponement to accommodate other parliamentary affairs after Cabinet approval on October 4. The current Parliament session, ongoing since October 9, is set to conclude on November 30, with Budget 2024 expected to pass at the committee stage on November 27.
The delay prompted former Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, the architect of GEG, to express discontent on social media, sparking a heated exchange with several Cabinet Ministers. Responding to the criticism, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said emphasized the Cabinet’s collective responsibility for decisions, while also highlighting the Attorney General’s Chambers’ legal perspectives on the GEG.
In a counterargument, Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh stressed the potential financial and constitutional implications of an unenforceable law.