JOHOR BARU: Strict enforcement is the only way to deter smokers from lighting up in public places designated as no smoking zones.
Johor Consumers Movement Association chairman Abdul Majid Kayat said having “No Smoking” signs is meaningless without enforcement.
“Look at our neighbour Singapore, I personally witnessed a litterbug in Orchard Road who was caught throwing rubbish and fined S$100 (RM314) on-the-spot by the officer on duty,” said Abdul Majid.
He said Malaysians would become law abiding citizens the moment they enter Singapore as they are aware of the strict enforcement in the republic.
Abdul Majid also cited irresponsible motorists using the emergency lanes along the North-South Expressway (NSE) as another example of Malaysians lackadaisical attitude in following the rules.
He said their action could cause ambulances and other rescue services to be delayed, resulting in possible loss of life.
“The public should take pictures of smokers puffing at no smoking zones and forward them to the authorities,” said Abdul Majid.
Johor Health and Environment committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat said the state government would study the Control of Tobacco Product (Amendment) Regulations 2017 which came into force on Feb 1.
Under the amendments, smoking is no longer allowed at camp sites, game courts, playgrounds and public parks.
“We may introduce special smoking areas or zones in Johor just like in Japan and South Korean but this needs further study,’’ he said.
Motorist William Ng said it is common to see smokers lighting up at R&R areas along the NSE despite “No Smoking” signs.
A ban on smoking at highway R&Rs has been in place since January 2015. Those caught lighting up can be fined RM250. — BY ZAZALI MUSA