KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 20): The Control of Smoking Products for Public Health Bill 2023 will be tabled for its second reading before the final parliamentary meeting of the year ends this month, said Health Minister Dr Zaliha Mustafa.
“That’s right, God-willing, we will table the Bill by the end of this Parliament session,” Dr Zaliha told the Parliament today during her winding-up speech for the debate of the Health Ministry’s allocations in Budget 2024.
She was responding to questions about the delay of the Bill’s second reading from several MPs.
The Bill that is slated for its second reading includes provisions for what is widely known as the Generational Endgame (GEG).
Previously, Dr Zaliha said the Bill would be tabled for a second reading in Parliament on October 10 after receiving approval from the Cabinet on October 4 to proceed with the proposed law.
However, the second reading did not take place to make way for government affairs in Parliament.
The current parliamentary meeting began on October 9 and will end on November 30.
The Supply Bill 2024 is expected to be passed at the committee stage on November 27 before Parliament sits for another three days for other government affairs.
Last Thursday, former Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin claimed that two Cabinet members and “the gaffer” of blocking the aforementioned tabling of the Bill.
He named the ministers as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said and Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.
As for “gaffer”, the informal British stand alludes to a person in charge of others.
The Bill proposes to increase fines for suppliers, lower fines for buyers or consumers in the GEG group, and include a two-year “educational enforcement” on the GEG first after the Act comes into effect.
The 2023 version of the bill incorporates amendments suggested by the Parliamentary Special Select Committee (PSSC) last year, including a reduction in the maximum fine for GEG offenders from RM5,000 to RM500, and introduces a provision for community service to educate and raise awareness. — Malay Mail