Power to enforce with councils too

The sight of liquor bottles strewn in public parks are a clear indication that drinking takes place in these places. — Filepic

LOCAL councils in Selangor have jurisdiction to enforce a ban on smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages in all public parks with immediate effect.

Selangor local government, public transport and new village development committee chairman Ng Sze Han said this was made possible following amendments to the Selangor Park By-law 2005.

“Those found smoking or drinking alcohol at parks could be fined up to RM1,000,” said Ng in a press conference.

He said parks and playgrounds were places for leisure and frequented by people of all ages.

“For the well-being and health of park-goers, more so during Covid-19, it is time we ban drinking and smoking at playgrounds and recreational parks under the by-law.”

On June 1, 2017, Selangor announced that it would enforce the Control of Tobacco Product (Amendment) Regulations 2017.

Those caught flouting the law could face a maximum fine of RM10,000 or up to two years in jail.

However, the law could only be enforced by state Health Department officers.

“We need to amend the by-law to enforce effectively at local council level,” said Ng.

He encouraged the public to be the eyes and ears of local authorities and report to their respective councils if they see anyone flouting the by-law.

Selangor health, welfare, women empowerment and family committee chairman Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud said public parks must be smoke-free.

“Second-hand smoke causes cancer and urgent action must be taken to discourage people from lighting up at parks where children and non-smokers gather,” she said.

Before the amendment, there was no act, by-law or enactment against drinking alcohol in public places.

However, the authorities could take action against individuals causing public nuisance drinking alcohol at public parks.

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