Category: News @ Melaka.

Malacca’s no-smoking zones mark a first for Malaysia

MALACCA – The Malaysian state of Malacca will be the first in the country to introduce public no-smoking zones from June 15.

The five designated areas are the 4.2 sq km World Heritage City, the Malacca International Trade Centre in Ayer Keroh, Taman Melaka Raya, and the entire town centres of Alor Gajah and Jasin.

Those found puffing inside the zones face fines starting at RM300 (S$123), which could go up to RM5,000.

“These five areas totalling about 338ha will be free from cigarette smoke, making Malacca the maiden state to have a gazetted no-smoking zone,” said Malaysian Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai, after making the announcement at a World Tobacco Free Day celebration in Malacca on Sunday.

The Health Ministry had previously gazetted areas such as shopping malls, cinemas, sports complexes and parks as no-smoking zones but the ban covering the Jasin and Alor Gajah town centres is a first in the country.

The response among traders at Jonker Street, which is part of the World Heritage City, was mixed. One restaurant owner, Mr Lee Teck Kim, 52, was afraid the ban would turn off tourists and said the state government should allow for designated smoking spots within the World Heritage City area.

Meanwhile, human rights group Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) denounced the move as “ridiculous”.

“People have (the) right to smoke,” SUARAM coordinator E Nalini told The Malaysian Insider yesterday.

“We all have health concerns but it should be done in a proper way … provide alternative places for smokers in all five districts,” she added.

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Category: News @ Melaka