PETALING JAYA: British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Berhad (BAT Malaysia) today unveiled its “Stop The Black Market” bus as part of its commitment to engage Malaysians and draw attention to the seriousness of the black market.
The bus, wrapped in an eye-catching public service message to stop the black market, will travel to various locations throughout the Klang Valley from now until December.
“The Stop The Black Market bus will cast a spotlight on a severe problem impacting Malaysia’s economic growth. This issue has been neglected for too long. The tobacco black market alone causes Malaysia to lose RM5.3 billion annually in uncollected taxes,” BAT Malaysia managing director Jonathan Reed said.
“This black market is not just an industry issue. It affects all Malaysians directly and indirectly. Valued at RM300 billion, this invisible economy funds crime, fuels corruption and hampers economic growth at a time when it is desperately needed.”
“Worryingly, the problem is not getting better despite greater enforcement efforts this year. The recently released Illicit Cigarettes Study conducted by Nielsen revealed that the illegal cigarette trade in Malaysia has actually increased over the past months to 62% of the total market in July 2020.”
Given the current economic environment, there is fear that the tobacco black market will continue to grow, Reed said.
“Urgent policy interventions must be put in place to stop the tobacco black market. The government needs to look at measures beyond enforcement alone to be able to effectively address this issue.”
“We hope that Malaysians who see the Stop The Black Market bus on the road will support our campaign and join the conversation by visiting https://www.facebook.com/stoptheblackmarket,” he added.