Ministry Denies Allegation Of Sabotage Of Vape Entrepreneurs

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 23 – The Ministry of Health (MOH) had denied an allegation by the Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Alliance of Malaysia (Ikhlas) on Tuesday that two vape flavour manufacturing plants believed to owned by certain individual stakeholders in the government will be built soon.

The Deputy Health Minister Datuk Dr Hilmi Yahaya said the ministry had not received any official report regarding the opening of the factories which allegedly aimed to monopolise the industry that brought returns of RM2.8 billion to existing operators annually.

He said he have not received any official report and they also do not have any information regarding the allegation. In the meantime, he also said that the ministry also do not intend to sabotage anyone. He told this to the reporters at the lobby of Parliament House.

Monday, the local media reported Ikhlas president Ridzuan Abdullah as claiming that two vape flavour manufacturing plants would be built in Shah Alam and Johor, and begin operating as soon as the ministry introduced new legislation pertaining to the sale of vape flavours.

In another development, Hilmi stressed that the ministry had no plan to ban the sale of vape, and only decided to regulate it, although the National Fatwa Council ruled on Monday that the use of electronic cigarettes and vape was ‘haram’ (prohibited). He said the ministry’s decision on the sale of vape was the same as that taken by the Cabinet. Hilmi said the ministry would continue to oversee the sale of vape under the Poisons Act 1952 and Control of Tobacco Product Regulations (Amendment) 2011. 

However, he said, it would depend on the special committee chaired by the Director General of Health Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah to discuss the decision of the National Fatwa Council. Meanwhile, Hilmi also said that the banning of permits for premises selling vape in different states depended on the local authorities, which had the authority to make any decision on the matter.

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