KUCHING, Oct 29: The government plans to extend the imposition of excise duty on sugary beverages products and nicotine-laced vape juice as part of an effort to cultivate a healthy lifestyle among Malaysians.
According to Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, among the products involved are chocolate or cocoa-based premixes, including malt, coffee and tea.
“The government also intends to impose excise duty on liquid or gel-based products that contains nicotine used for electronic cigarettes and vapes,” said Tengku Zafrul in his address when unveiling Budget 2022 in Parliament today.
He noted that the government has also agreed to continue with the Healthy Malaysia National Agenda in order to cultivate a healthy culture among Malaysians, as well as tackling non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.
Tengku Zafrul pointed out that this includes the issue involving rare diseases that was raised by Dr Shantesh Kumar during a discussion session that was held recently.
“Therefore, the government will strengthen the Clinical Management of Rare Diseases in Malaysia such as lysosomal,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tengku Zafrul revealed that the government has agreed to extend the appointments of more than 10,000 medical officers, dentist, and pharmacist, on contractual basis after their compulsory two years period of service has ended, to a maximum of fours years.
He explained that this is to ensure continuity of service and as a preparation for their specialist studies.
“In addition, I am pleased to announce that the government has agreed to approve the sponsorship for the specialist programme with an allocation of RM100 million for the benefit of 3,000 medical and dental contract officers.
“Apart from that, in order to ensure the preparedness of the public health services, the government will be working with the Red Crescent Society and St John’s Ambulance to improve the access and reach of response for the ambulance services,” he added. — DayakDaily.