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LETTER | Malaysians spliting hairs over the smoking ban

LETTER | Smoking is bad and so sad for all of us.

Smoking is injurious to health as emphasised by the gory pictures that are printed on cigarette boxes.

But in Malaysia, the race to be acclaimed as the first country in the world to implement a smoking ban for all those born in 2007 and onwards seems to have become an obsession leading to even splitting hairs in parliament.

I wish we Malaysians had an equal, if not greater enthusiasm, for fighting corruption, abuse of power or environmental pollution.

I wish for the health minister to fight an even greater battle to make healthcare reasonably affordable and accessible for all segments of society. That would have made him a national hero.

I wish the health minister addressed, using cutting-edge solutions, for problems relating to quality healthcare, expert specialists, and newer and functioning medical technologies.

I wish our politicians prioritised enacting laws that made our battle against climate change more meaningful, timely and effective.

But no. This obsession with a smoking ban has stolen the limelight.

I wonder why we are all so indifferent to the massive, growing drug abuse in the country?

I wonder why we are so blind and deaf to the numerous instances of water and air pollution in our midst that cost unreported health consequences and a huge loss of taxpayers' money.

I wonder if anyone is concerned about food quality while consumers remain in the dark about additives, flavourings, steroids, fertilisers and banned substances that are used in secret by manufacturers, breeders and farmers?

It is all very flabbergasting.

The key to reducing the smoking penchant is education. It is about evolving a cultural mindset. And it hinges on the cardinal freedom of choice.

But that said, we certainly cannot deny that for centuries throughout civilisations, humans have been smoking - from ancient tribes to contemporary societies.

All the laws in the various countries remain inert in arresting or reducing the smoking population.

Tobacco is a great business and earns governments good tax money.

And here we are in Malaysia, so gung-ho about calling for the outlawing of smoking for those born in 2007 onwards.

I am not sure if even some media are not interested in this letter to the editors.

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

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