`Way clear to implement smoking ban now, Dr Sim’

Voon Shiak Ni

KUCHING, Jan 4: Sarawak should implement the smoking ban at all eateries now based on the positive outcome of the ban in the peninsula since Jan 1.

Sarawak special officer to the Federal Ministry of Housing and Local Government, Voon Shiak Ni, said public reactions was “much more well accepted than expected”  and netizens were singing praises of the ban as eating outlets they used to patronise had cleaner air now.

“In Kuching, I observed that smokers who use to smoke at the coffee shop I used to eat did not light in the coffee shop today. It is not a surprise that the smoking ban actually creates the social duty awareness among the public.

“Most of our people will follow because they want to part of the good cause to safeguard public health,” she said in a statement today.

Voon, who is also Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) national vice women chief, hoped state Minister of Housing and Local Government Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian would not underestimate the civic-mindedness or sense of social responsibility of Sarawakians.

She argued that opting to be the odd one out of the nationwide smoking ban was not “a wise nor a hero move”.

“Welfare and public health should be above politics and must be done, even if it may scratch some politicians of some support from the dissenting groups on the ban.

“Furthermore, we ought to know that we are not banning smoking. Smokers can continue to smoke, only to refrain from lighting at coffee shop tables,” Voon pointed out.

In urging Dr Sim not to delay the implementation of the smoking ban unnecessarily, she said there was nothing to be proud of by not supporting the move because the ban is not a vice nor a negative policy on the peoples’ wellness and wellbeing.

“It is always difficult to start, but in many cases, it is not as difficult as we expect once we are determined to embrace the change,” Voon reckoned. — DayakDaily