Thursday, October 17

6 national bodies against cigarette licensing proposal

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KUALA LUMPUR: Six major national associations today said that they do not agree with the proposed licensing requirement to sell cigarettes from the middle of this year.

In a statement yesterday, Malaysia Singapore Coffee Shop Proprietors General Association (MSCSPGA) said the bodies, representing more than 180,000 retailers, have made a joint petition to the government to reconsider the proposal.

“Even though the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities recently issued a statement that a decision has not been made on the matter, the associations are making a joint request to the government to reconsider the proposal because it will impact many businesses in this country.

“In addition, the associations raise concerns over the proposal as the proposed licensing requirement will not include retailers in Sabah and Sarawak,” it said.

At the same time, the associations also raised concerns over the application process which they say will burden retailers given that Lembaga Kenaf dan Tembakau, an agency under the ministry tasked with implementing the licensing requirement, only operates in certain states.

This may potentially require retailers to make long journeys to neighbouring states in order to apply for the licence, MSCSPGA said.

The six bodies are MSCSPGA; Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners Association; Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association; Federation of Sundry Goods Merchants Association of Malaysia; Malaysian Muslim Wholesalers and Retailers Association; and Gabungan Persatuan Penjaja-Penjaja Dan Peniaga-Peniaga Kecil Malaysia. — Bernama