SUBANG JAYA: Employees and contractors of PLUS Malaysia Berhad will be barred from smoking at rest and recreation (R&R) stops along PLUS highways, in line with the Government’s new policy.
“We have to set the right example for the public,” said PLUS maintenance and development general manager Rene’e Aziz Ahmad during a media briefing about the maintenance and upkeep of the highways.
She said there were already designated non-smoking zones at their R&R stops while individual outlets or stall operators had the discretion to put up signs to that effect within their own areas.
PLUS chief operating officer Mohammad Fuad Khusairi said they welcomed the decision by Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam to designate all R&R stops as no-smoking zones by the end of the year.
Dr Subramaniam had said the ban covers eateries, toilets and included a 3m radius around the R&R stops.
PLUS-operated highways have 43 lay-bys, 24 rest service areas and four overhead bridges with restaurants. There are an additional 84 lay-bys with basic public amenities at toll plaza exit points.
Mohammad Fuad said signs would be put up to inform the public about the new policy after they received the government guidelines.
The policy, targeted at lowering the number of smokers in the country, also received the thumbs up from motorists at the Sungai Buloh R&R stop.
Mah Lin Koh, from Cheras, said the decision was long overdue.
“I was shocked to read in The Star that 4.7 million Malaysians are smokers. I don’t want my children to one day be among them,” said the 38-year-old housewife from Cheras.
Writer T. Selvi, 28, from Petaling Jaya said she supported the move but was sceptical about whether the authorities could enforce it.
Ahmad Ridzuan from Sungai Bulloh said the new measures would do little to reduce the 23.1% of smokers in the country.
“They are going to end up smoking in their cars or stopping at non-designated areas. This could pose a hazard to other motorists,” said the 48-year-old manager.