Malaysiakini Letter

How can lawmakers smoke in the august House?

Stephen Ng  |  Published:  |  Modified:

LETTER | I find it amusing that Malaysian lawmakers would make a fuss of the "No Smoking" ban in the Parliament building.

What exactly is it that makes the elected Members of Parliament different from the rest of us? Surely, they are not above the law!

If universities have turned their campuses into "No Smoking" Zones, there is no reason why the august House cannot accept the reform that we have desired so much to see. If the ban is on all government buildings and hospitals, what makes the Malaysian Parliament any different?

In the past, the BN regime had no political will to impose the "No Smoking" ban on Parliament; but now, when there is a minister who is willing to stand up for doing what is right, why of all persons does Backbencher chairperson Johari Abdul seek to even speak up on behalf of the complainants?

There are more important issues that he should raise for the attention of the administration in order to make this country a better place for everyone. Why talk about the "No Smoking" ban in Parliament?

Is it not a waste of the lawmakers' time? Are their salaries not paid by taxpayers? So, why are they talking on matters like this that do not affect the rakyat? If the ban is imposed in the Parliament, who cares! We have better things to do than to care whether lawmakers get to smoke anywhere in the Parliament complex or within its compound.

If Minister of Health Dzulkefly Ahmad has imposed a ban on smoking in the Parliament, let it be! The speaker has no problem with it, so why raise this in Parliament?

Also, what the heck does Kinabatangan MP Bung Mokhtar Radin think he is when he said, and I quote: "I feel that the Health Ministry has been discriminatory towards smokers. It appears that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community has more rights than smokers."

I wonder where Bung Mokhtar's grey matter has gone to or whether he even qualifies to be a lawmaker. If he thinks he is a fighting cock in Parliament, he better think twice because the rakyat are watching him.

If Bung Mokhtar cannot take the "No Smoking" ban, he should just quit being a member of the august House. He can build himself a chimney and smoke all that he wants, but please, do not do it at the expense of other people's health.

I applaud Dzulkefly's bold move. The ban is for the sake of many lawmakers, who otherwise have to suffer the secondary smoke from smokers.

It is perhaps time for the Ministry of Health to impose the "No Smoking" zone in state government offices, including the offices of the state executive councillors.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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