Seven challenging eatery smoking ban

31 Dec 2018 / 22:14 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Seven individuals today filed a leave application for a judicial review to challenge the decision of the Health Ministry to enforce a ban on smoking at all eateries starting Jan 1 2019.

All seven applicants file their application ex-parte at the High Court Registrar here via e-filing through Messrs Haniff Khatri.

They are Mohd Hanizam Yunus, 52, Zulkifli Mohamad, 56, Mohd Laisani Dollah, 46, Mohd Sufian Awaludin, 35, Ridzuan Muhammad Noor, 52, Mohd Yazid Mohd Yunus, 48, and Yuri Azhar Abdollah, 39.

In their application, all applicants stated they acted on behalf of themselves and smokers who supported the pro-tem Pertahankan Hak Perokok and named the Ministry of Health as the respondent.

In the application, the applicants stated the ban on smoking was against the Federal Constitution as it was not a criminal activity and the activity was valid from the legal point of view guaranteed under the constitution.

According to them, smokers have the same right as non-smokers to visit and patronise food premises.

It said Malaysians who smoke were constructively isolated and discriminated from visiting food premises due to the smoking ban which is against the provisions and principles of law and was wrong in procedure as the respondent did not meet smokers or stakeholders to discuss the enforcement of the ban.

Apart from that, they said the government also did not provide a separate smoking area or provide food premises operators to implement according to their discretion a separate smoking area.

As such, they are seeking for a certiorari order to cancel the decision of the ministry and seek a declaration that the enforcement decision contradicts the Federal Constitution.

They are also seeking a restraining order to prevent the same respondent either through itself or its agent or representative from enforcing the ban.

The Health Ministry had issued a ban at all restaurants and food premises effective Jan 1 2019 at all food premises including air-conditioned or open air areas. — Bernama

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