Industry advocate: “GEG is unenforceable, drop GEG provisions from control of smoking bill”

ADVOKASI Perusahaan dan Industri (API), an advocacy group dedicated to promoting business and industry growth, has urged the Health Ministry (MOH) to scrap its proposed Generational End Game (GEG) policy as “it is unenforceable”.

On a similar note, the group’s managing director Datuk Fazli Nordin also urged MOH to drop the proposed GEG provisions from the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023.

“This policy will be unenforceable. It isn’t just about being unconstitutional but from an enforcement point of view, it will be challenging and a nightmare especially where enforcement authorities would need to conduct some sort of verification,” Fazli pointed out.

“It is also hard to imagine a 30 or 40-year-old adult being asked by authorities in the future to produce NRIC just because the individual is seen holding the products and penalised or criminalised just because of his year of birth.”

Datuk Fazli Nordin

He added: “In addition, the key issue will be enforcement. Currently, Malaysia is already known to be grappling with high levels of smuggled cigarettes sold in the market with the current enforcement level being unable to prevent smokers from consuming smuggled products. What more if it is about stopping smokers altogether through the GEG policy?”

While API recognises the importance of addressing public health concerns related to vape and tobacco use, Fazli said the group firmly advocates a pragmatic approach whereby the government should be playing a more proactive role in driving education and awareness programmes.

“Instead of GEG, focus instead on driving education and awareness. Don’t just come up with a policy that is nice on paper but unenforceable and will not work,” asserted Fazli.

“The tobacco bill has been delayed far too long. The government should decouple GEG from the tobacco bill so that laws can be put in place to regulate vape products that are currently unregulated. This will also enable the setting of clear guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for industry players who have been waiting for years for sensible regulations to be introduced.” – Nov 24, 2023

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