97% Malaysians want action against tobacco black market

PETALING JAYA: An overwhelming 97% of Malaysians want action to be taken against the tobacco black market.

A nationwide survey conducted by British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Bhd (BAT Malaysia) as part of its “Stop The Black Market” campaign also shows that 88% of Malaysians believe that the tobacco black market is impeding the nation’s Covid-19 economic recovery.

The top three factors that helped to sustain the tobacco black market are corruption (38%), high excise duties (27%) and insufficient resources for enforcement agencies to tackle the issue (19%).

The tobacco black market causes more than RM5 billion losses in uncollected taxes every year.

According to the survey, Malaysians believe that reducing the price differential between legal and black market products (35%) and greater collaboration between law enforcement agencies (29%) are key in countering the tobacco black market.

“We welcome the enthusiastic response by Malaysians to our ‘Stop The Black Market’ campaign,” BAT Malaysia Managing Director Jonathan Reed said today. “Since it went live on July 6, the campaign website has had more than 30,000 unique visits.

“From the feedback we received, Malaysians are very concerned about the tobacco black market and support immediate government action to clamp down on the criminal syndicates operating within this space. This support from Malaysians stems from the desire to see the economy recovering post Covid-19.”

As part of a follow up to the survey, BAT Malaysia will make public the survey findings and launching a second survey on its campaign website https://stoptheblackmarket.com.my.

It will provide Malaysians with a channel to further express what can be done to address this issue quickly and comprehensively, Reed added.

The nationwide survey commissioned by BAT Malaysia in July consisted of an online survey of over 2,000 Malaysian adults.

For more information on British American Tobacco Malaysia’s Stop the Black Market, please visit https://stoptheblackmarket.com.my/ or https://www.facebook.com/stoptheblackmarket.