KUCHING, Dec 24: Minister of Housing and Local Government Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian today clarified that it was not his intention to ignore the anti-smoking sentiments among Sarawakians when he said Sarawak would not be enforcing the no-smoking ban starting Jan 1 next year.
He said his statement yesterday was misinterpreted and over-sensationalised, making it as if he encouraged smoking in public places.
In a statement today, Dr Sim said what he meant was Sarawak would have its own smoking ban, taking into consideration the state’s circumstances and its Local Government Ordinance and by-laws.
“Just like immigration; we have our own immigration rights,” he explained.
He iterated that smoking is detrimental for health not only for smokers but also for non-smokers through secondhand smoke.
“We have to do a lot more on all tobacco products not just by legislation but also holistically. As a cardiologist, I have been advocating anti-smoking my whole professional life and will continue to do so.
“As a Sarawakian, I must make sure that Sarawak’s interest is duly safeguarded and adequately protected under the law, especially under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the Federal Constitution,” said Dr Sim. — DayakDaily