KUALA LUMPUR: Members of Parliament should have a chance to debate the generational endgame (GEG) provision in Dewan Rakyat, says Pasir Gudang lawmaker Hassan Karim.
In the debate session of the Control of Smoking Products for Public Health 2023 Bill, Hassan said the Health Ministry should provided the opportunity to debate the GEG in the Bill as there were conflicting opinions among lawmakers
"It (the Bill) seemed anti-climatic as the MPs were expecting that the GEG would be tabled in the second reading of the Bill," he said.
"Just now, the minister said the government had to spend millions on treating smoking related diseases.
"We need to save the next generation and if there are those who are against it then bring it to Parliament and if the majority do not support it, then we lose the provision," added Hassan.
He added that it should have been debated, as not all in Parliament support the GEG.
"There was hope from the public that there is a prohibition for those born 2007 and after from smoking so we can ensure they have healthier lives," he said on Wednesday (Nov 29).
Earlier, Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa tabled the 'revised' Bill for the second time at the Lower House.
In the amended version of the Bill, the ministry had decided to abandon the GEG element, which sought to ban those born in 2007 and onwards from smoking or purchasing smoking products.
Dr Zaliha said the Attorney-General’s Chambers had expressed concerns that the GEG contradicted Article 8 of the Federal Constitution as "it creates unequal legal treatment between a person born before Jan 1, 2007 and a person born on and after Jan 1, 2007" and that it could be challenged in court.
In the proposed anti-smoking Bill read out in Parliament on Wednesday, Dr Zaliha said it would prohibit minors from purchasing tobacco products, smoking substances or substitute tobacco products or obtaining any services related to smoking.
The new Bill also prohibited those under 18 years-old from vaping or purchasing vape products; it was
currently being debated by 21 MPs and the Lower House was expected to vote on the Bill after the debate session.