With the recent smoking ban enforcement that has started this year, the government is issuing summons to those who smoke at public eateries. Just today (7th January 2020), the Ministry of Housing and Local Government has announced that they will be allocating RM1 million to building smoking areas for the public, reported Malaysiakini.
The Ministry said the RM1 million will be allocated to construct public smoking areas including within commercial areas and food courts owned by local authorities. Meanwhile, store owners are allowed to prepared smoking areas out of their premises for their customers at least 3 metres away from the closest dining table.
In a press conference in Putrajaya, Minister of Housing and Local Government Zuraida Kamaruddin said that the Minister will be giving out guidelines to owners of restaurants or private shops regarding the application for permission to build smoking areas from local authorities in a small scale, including premises in a shop lot.
The smoking areas must have roof, seats and place to dispose the cigarette butts. And the areas can be constructed as a sharing unit with other restaurants in the same lot.
“The local authorities are requested to apply for budget allocation from the Housing and Local Government Minister of about RM5,000 for the construction of each smoking area,” said Zuraida Kamaruddin.
She also added the Minister has already have a model for smoking area in Senario Ampang, with two booths that are furnished with roofs, seats and places to dispose cigarette butts.
However, the Deputy Minister of Health Dr Lee Boon Chye said no restaurants or food shops are allowed to have smoking areas perpared for their customers in the premises, according to Berita Harian.
In response to that statement, Zuraida said the government is working together with each ministry involved and it should be perceived from positive perspective.
“Right now, we only suggest the owners of restaurants and shops to build smoking areas but we might enforce them to make one if the customers cannot smoke in the area at all, partially under the cost of the owners.”
Do you think the government should prepare smoking areas for smokers in areas that are close to eateries? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section!
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