Johor’s ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar has reportedly banned vape in the southern state and has given outlets one month to end the business.
The monarch in an interview with The Star was reported saying there should be no excuses and that the matter should not be politicised or turned into a racial issue.
“I want the outlets to close down by January 1, 2016, and I do not want to hear any excuses.
“This is a question of health and its effects on young people. It has nothing to do with businesses and for sure, it has nothing to do with race.
“I am greatly disappointed that some people are bringing up racial threats and political threats,” he told The Star.
The sultan said politicians should not bow down to the vape business community and pander to them.
“Why are these politicians giving in to these threats? I want to know if these businessmen would allow their children to vape if it is so safe and healthy as they claim,” said Sultan Ibrahim.
According to the report, the sultan has ordered the state exco to meet next week to ensure the ban is implemented swiftly.
He explained the state government can exercise its right to invoke bylaws under the local government laws to enforce the ban.
'Defy and face music'
The monarch said if unchecked, vaping would turn into a “whole new form of addiction among our youth” and would have long term effects on the people’s health and the country’s medical costs.
Therefore, he stood firm on his order and said those who flout the law after the deadline would face the consequences.
The Health Ministry’s raid on vaping liquids earlier this month has turned into a political hot potato, with traders warning the government they risk losing over a million voter should they persist in the clampdown.
Umno minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has even come forward to defend the vape industry as a bumiputera success story that should not be culled.