KUALA LUMPUR, 9 September 2022 – The Federation of Sundry Goods Merchants Associations of Malaysia (FSGMAM) has urged the 13 members of the Parliamentary Special Select Committee (PSSC) to take the initiative to consult retail businesses on the measures proposed in the Control of Tobacco Products and Smoking Bill 2022.
Hong Chee Meng, President of FSGMAM, said, “The proposed bill includes ban of tobacco and vape products to those born after 2007 and ban on product display at retail which was made without detailed research and consultation with the retail businesses who are frontliners in the retail sector. The PSSC needs to consult all those in the retail businesses before making decision as it will impact the businesses and change the way retail sector operates.”
According to Hong, there weren’t any discussion nor consultation with any retail businesses since the idea was mooted.
“There hasn’t been any discussion with the retail businesses, and we are not aware on how it will be implemented nor what the requirements will be for the retail sectors to comply. We only read from news that the Ministry of Health wants to stop sale to individuals born after 2007 and that there may potentially be a digital tracking system that will be introduced to track and monitor transactions on tobacco and vape products.”
Hong also said, “Sales of tobacco products contributes to revenue stream of sundry shop businesses. It provides a steady flow of income to help cover daily operational cost and in recent times to recover from economic setbacks due to pandemic. The ban will gradually take away our revenue stream in the long run.”
“In addition, we also have tough competition from illegal products. There are so many products in the market that do not comply with Ministry of Health’s laws and they are all sold below the minimum price of RM12.00 as required by Ministry of Health. This matter needs to be dealt with first before any new measures and policies are considered,” he explained.
FSGMAM believe that the authorities should instead focus on combatting this problem that is causing the country to lose billions of tax revenue and impacting legitimate businesses before looking to introduce new policies.
“FSGMAM hope that the PSSC will invite all retail businesses for in-depth consultation on this matter before finalising their decision on the bill. In fact, more studies and reviews need to be done given that it will have impact on the retail businesses,” Hong concluded.