Retail Businesses On Parliament Ignoring Their Request And Views On GEG

Retail Businesses On Parliament Ignoring Their Request And Views On GEG

23 September 2022, Kuala Lumpur - The Malaysian Singapore Coffeeshop Proprietors’ General Association (MSCSPGA), Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners Association (PRIMAS), Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (PRESMA) and Federation of Sundry Goods Merchants Associations Malaysia (FSGMAM) is requesting for the Parliament Special Select Committee (PSSC) on the proposed Control of Tobacco Product and Smoking Bill 2022 (GEG Bill) to conduct proper and thorough engagements with everyone who will be impacted by the GEG bill.

"Until now, we have not been consulted on the GEG Bill nor received any briefing on the implementation of the proposed measures that was reported in the media.", said Mr. Wong Teu Hoon, The President of Malaysia Singapore Coffeeshop Proprietors’ General Association (MSCSPGA).

"We are supportive of MOH's agenda in reducing the number of smokers in Malaysia. All we ask is to be invited and consulted so that our views are heard and taken into consideration. A comprehensive consultation, briefing and impact study should be carried out with retailers to improve the GEG bill."

GEG Will Impact Fundamental Rights of Consumers
The highest law in Malaysia is the Federal Constitution, which recognizes the fundamental rights of all Malaysians. If we do not focus on this matter, the validity of the law will be questioned, says R. Paneir Selvam

At the Retailers ‘press conference it outline their concerns about the GEG bill. Primarily, it would be the retailers who will become the frontliners in implementing the GEG bill, as the Health Ministry will be unable to employ an enforcer at every retail shop.

“Retail operators will be the ones expected to conduct the ID checks which itself will cause certain tensions in-store. As the bill does not allow those born after 2007 to work in shops that sell cigarettes, operating costs for these small businesses will rise and cause many to go out of business.”, said Mr. J Suresh, The President of Malaysian Indian Restaurant Owners Associations(PRIMAS).

Currently, the sales of legal tobacco products in retail shops make up 30% of total revenue. The GEG will impact revenue of retail shops at a time when the country is preparing for an unprecedented global recession.

GEG Fines

“The retailers are also concerned about the penalties listed under GEG where any retailer caught selling cigarettes to a person in the GEG generation will be fined minimum MYR 30,000 or face imprisonment of up to 3 years or both.”, said Mr. Hong Chee Meng, The President of Federation of Sundry Goods Merchants Associations Malaysia (FSGMAM).

GEG is not as easy to implement as the minimum age for selling cigarettes or alcohol. This law is different because the GEG generation will get older every year.

“As many lawyers are already claiming that GEG is against the Federal Constitution, retailers do not want to be dragged to court when the GEG is eventually challenged legally.”, said Dato Jawahar Ali Taib Khan, The President of Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (PRESMA). Lawyers have already written in the media that GEG may be against Article 8 of the constitution.

Article 8 says that the law must operate alike on all persons under like circumstances. This is against the principle of equality when applying laws in individuals under “like circumstances".

MALAYSIA SINGAPORE COFFEESHOP PROPRIETORS’ GENERAL ASSOCIATION MALAYSIAN INDIAN RESTAURANT OWNERS ASSOCIATION (PRIMAS) MALAYSIAN MUSLIM RESTAURANT OWNERS ASSOCIATION (PRESMA) FEDERATION OF SUNDRY GOODS MERCHANTS ASSOCIATIONS MALAYSIA (FSGMAM)

43 affiliates under MSCSPGA

  1. Persatuan Peniaga Kopi, Restoran dan Bar, Johor Bahru
  2. Persatuan Kedai Kopi Dan Restoran Segamat
  3. Coffee Shopkeepers’ Association Batu Pahat
  4. Muar District Coffee Merchants Association
  5. Pontian Coffee Shopkeepers’ Association
  6. Kluang Coffee Shops Association
  7. Persatuan Kedai Kopi Dan Restoran, Mersing, Johor
  8. Persatuan Pekedai Pekedai Kopi Melaka
  9. Negeri Sembilan Coffee Shop, Bar, Restaurant And Hotel Keepers’ Association
  10. Persatuan Saudagar Kopi, Arak, Restorant Dan Hotel, Port Dickson
  11. Selangor & Kuala Lumpur Chinese Coffee & Tea Shopkeepers’ Association
  12. Selangor & Kuala Lumpur Foochow Coffee Bar & Restaurant Merchants’ Association
  13. Persatuan Peniaga-Peniaga Kopi, Bar & Restoran Petaling Jaya
  14. Persatuan Peniaga-Peniaga Kopi, Teh dan Restoran, Kelang dan Pantai Selangor
  15. Persatuan Pekedai Kopi Daerah Temerloh
  16. Persatuan Pekedai Kopi Daerah Lipis, Raub Dan Jerantut (1989)
  17. Kuantan Cafe Association
  18. Perak Coffee Shopkeepers’ Association
  19. Persatuan Pekedai Kopi Perak Utara
  20. The Coffee Shop Keepers’ Association
  21. Persatuan Pekedai Kopi Dan Restoran Manjung
  22. Central Perak And Upper Perak Coffee Dealers’ Association
  23. The Foochow Coffee-Shop Owner’ s Association
  24. Penang And Province Wellesley Cafe Association
  25. Persatuan Tuan-Tuan Empunya Kedai Kopi & Kedai Makanan Seberang Perai
  26. Kedah Chinese Coffee Shopkeeper’s Association
  27. Central Kedah Coffee Shop Owner’s Association
  28. Persatuan Kedai-Kedai Kopi Kedah Selatan
  29. Persatuan Kedai Kopi Hotel & Restoran Terengganu
  30. Persatuan Pekedai Kopi, Restoran Dan Hotel Cina Kelantan
  31. Persatuan Tuan-Tuan Empunya Kedai Kopi Perlis
  32. Kuching Coffee Shops and Restaurants Owners Association
  33. Sibu Coffee Shop & Restaurant Owners' Association
  34. Sarikei Coffee And Restaurant Trader’s Association
  35. Kapit Coffee Shop & Restaurant Owner’s Association
  36. Miri Coffee Shops Association
  37. Persatuan Peniaga Kopi Dan Restoran Bahagian Sri Aman Dan Betong
  38. Persatuan Pemilik Kedai Kopi Dan Restoran Mukah
  39. Persatuan Pemilik Kedai Kopi Dan Restoran Bintangor, Sawarak
  40. Persatuan Restoran Dan Kedai Kopi Sandakan
  41. Sabah West Coast Coffee Shops And Restaurants Association
  42. Persatuan Peniaga-Peniaga Makanan Dan Minuman Tawau
  43. Persatuan Peniaga Kedai Kopi Dan Restoran Bintulu