Proposed ‘No Lighting-Up Law’ to be lighted up again? – An update on the Generational End Game Bill

The recently appointed Minister of Health, Dr Zaliha Mustafa, has expressed her support for the Control of Tobacco Product and Smoking Bill 2022 (‘the Bill’)1 that was tabled for its first reading in the Dewan Rakyat of the Malaysian Parliament on 27 July 2022.
Dr Zaliha has said that officials from her Ministry and stakeholders are briefing her on the Bill. The Minister also expressed hope that the Bill can be fine-tuned and retabled to the Dewan Rakyat at its first meeting in 2023.2
The Bill, dubbed the generational endgame bill, seeks, among others, to prohibit the sale of tobacco  products and substitute tobacco products, including cigarettes, electronic cigarettes and vaping devices, to persons born on or after 1 January 2007. Crucially, the Bill also seeks to prohibit those born on or after the said date from purchasing tobacco products and substitute tobacco products. After several days of debate, the Bill was referred by the Dewan Rakyat to a Parliamentary Special Select Committee on 2 August 2022 to conduct a review of three areas, including the enforcement provisions and quantum of fines to be imposed on offences under the Bill.3
The Bill was to have been re-presented to the Malaysian Parliament at the meeting commencing October 2022, but was not, due to the dissolution of Parliament for general elections.
The former Minister of Health, Khairy Jamaluddin, who lobbied passionately and tirelessly for the adoption of the Bill will be heartened by the views expressed by his successor. By stating her hope for the revised anti-smoking bill to be tabled in Parliament in early 2023, Dr Zaliha has re-lit the debate on the proposed anti-smoking law and made it clear that it is not game over for the generational end game bill. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see what changes will be proposed to the Bill.
Our article on the salient features of the Bill can be read here.
Update by Kok Chee Kheong (Partner) of the Corporate Practice of Skrine.

1 ‘Report: New health minister to fine-tune anti-smoking Bill for retabling in Q1 2023’;, 11 December 2022.
2 Ibid.
3 Hansard, 2nd August 2022, pp. 128-129.

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