KUALA LUMPUR: The government’s effort to end smoking and vaping via the ‘Generation Endgame’ plan is the right move, and it should also include banning the sale of alcohol, sugary drinks, gambling, and the operation of nightclubs and karaoke joints.

Pertubuhan Ummah Muafakat Putrajaya (PUMP) president Tun Faisal said the move to ban smoking and vaping takes much political will, and to the government’s credit, it has not wavered in pushing for Generation Endgame.

“It seems only natural that the government should look to realise the aspirations of all Malaysians.

“After all, why only ban one or two bad habits while allowing others to fester? We should not have double standards for bad habits,” he said in a statement.

Tun Faisal cited a recent survey carried out by the Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM) that found most Malaysians want the government to ban the sale of alcohol, sugary drinks and gambling, as well as prohibit the operation of nightclubs, pubs and karaoke joints.

PPIM said these products and services are considered ‘bad’ as smoking and vaping are bad for one’s health.

“The respondents of the PPIM survey are right. It isn’t rocket science, and it is something the government should seriously consider,” Tun Faisal said.

He said if the government cites health reasons for banning smoking, it must be noted that there are non-communicable diseases (NCDs) linked to alcohol consumption, including cancer, liver diseases, and pancreatitis.

Similarly, sugary drinks are linked to obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases.

“Gambling, on the other hand, as PPIM argued, can plunge one into debt. Again, one needs only to Google to see that it is not a farfetched argument.

“Detractors will say that it is a matter of moderation and that people should have complete freedom to do what they want. But who has to bear the cost and consequences of these bad habits? Society,” he said.

“This is why I urge the government to consider PPIM’s survey results.”

He further said that, understandably, the government cannot and should not take a top-down approach but a more inclusive approach in the spirit of the Keluarga Malaysia concept.

“Surely, there are also repercussions to consider, especially on the economy, of banning alcohol, sugary drinks, and the operation of nightclubs. Somewhere and somehow down the line, the ban would impact someone’s rice bowl.

“This is why any plans to curb ‘bad habits’ must be calculated and planned carefully,” Tun Faisal said.

However, that journey must start with the government’s will and desire to ensure there are no double standards for bad habits.

Article by: New Straits Times