On January 1st, Malaysia declared a new smoking ban that was met with mixed reactions. Citizens are now not allowed to smoke within three metres of any outdoor or open-air restaurant. In conjunction with the ban, the owner of the famous chain restaurant Pelita Samudra Pertama (M) Sdn Bhd (Pelita) or better known as Nasi Kandar Pelita has decided to stop the sale of all cigarettes by the end of the year. This decision will be implemented for all branches within Malaysia.
New Straits Times reported that Pelita Executive Director, Datuk K.K. Sihabutheen made the decision as he agrees with the purpose of the ban. The objective was primarily to respect those who have to eat alongside smokers, and also to improve the quality of air.
Silhabutheen, however, mentions that the stop of sales cannot commence immediately as they are still tied to several cigarette distributors.
“We are confident that customers will support our move. What more, many of them who come here are non-smokers and many of them also want a smoke-free area.”
As the no-smoking ban is ongoing, smokers are reminded to obey the new rules when eating in open-air eateries. Restaurant owners are also advised to put up a no-smoking sign as they may face a fine of RM3,000 or be jailed for up to six months.
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