KUCHING (Bernama): The Sarawak state government is putting on hold the nationwide smoking ban at all eateries in the state pending a decision by the state Cabinet, says Sarawak Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Dim Kui Hian.
He said although the state government was with the federal government on the anti-smoking law, it had its own local government ordinances on smoking.
In fact, the Kuching North City Hall (DBKU) had, two years ago, implemented anti-smoking law in kopitiams through their own local government by-law, but unfortunately not all the local councils in Sarawak have been doing the same, he said.
“Do not be misled by certain quarters that we are preventing federal laws from being implemented in the state,” Dr Sim told Bernama here on Tuesday (Jan 1).
“I was given to understand that the Sarawak State Health Department (JKNS) under the Health Ministry is calling to discuss with the stakeholders especially the coffeeshops association on their recently gazetted Federal Anti Smoking Law and the implementation,” he said.
Meanwhile, a Bernama check at several eateries, especially coffeeshops around Kuching, found that many customers were still smoking outside the premises.
Last October, the Federal Government announced that smoking in all restaurants, coffeeshops and hawker centres – even open-air eateries – nationwide would be banned effective Jan 1.
Those caught smoking in prohibited areas will be fined up to RM10,000 or face two years' jail while eateries found to have allowed customers to light up will be slapped with a maximum fine of RM2,500. – Bernama