KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 29 – The Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Organisation of Malaysia (Ikhlas) on Monday filed a suit against the Director-General of Health, Ministry of Health and three others over the confiscation of its electronic cigarettes or vape products.
Ikhlas filed the suit through Messrs Termizi & Co at the High Court Registrar’s office, here, through its counsel Zulhasmi Zakaria. It also named the director-general of the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism, Johor Bahru City Council (MBJB) and the Inspector-General of Police as defendants.
In its statement of claims, Ikhlas sought a court order to rule that all the actions of the defendants in raiding and confiscating the vape products including electronic cigarettes, parts and accessories, mods and flavoured fluids belonging to its members as illegal, wrong and null.
It also sought that the banning of vape through state enforcement, especially by the local authorities such as MBJB be deemed as ultra vires and contravening the law. In addition, the plaintiff sought that the court prohibit the defendants from raiding, confiscating and fining the association members for the sale or provision of vape products, and to order the return of the seized products within seven days of the order.
Ikhlas claimed that all the defendants, through a joint operation on Dec 15, had raided and seized vapes belonging to its members who operated in the MBJB area of administration, on the assumption that vapes were prohibited. The plaintiff claimed that MBJB’s refusal to issue business licences to vape traders was mala fide, contravened the law and violated the rights of citizens as provided under the Federal Constitution.
It added that the actions of the defendants had caused its members losses and difficulties, as they had put up the capital while the stocks ordered from the domestic and foreign suppliers could not be sold but were at risk of being confiscated by the authorities. The plaintiff also demanded compensation for general and special damages, punitive damages and aggravated damages amounting to RM1 million, as well as interest and other relief deemed fit by the court.